The phrase “The New Wave” is commonly used to describe the new generation of French filmmakers that emerged in the late 1950s. “The New Wave” is actually a tidal wave. These young anti-conformist filmmakers will shake up the very established rules of French cinema and thus allow a new cinema to emerge: the cinema d’auteur.
The Best Pillars
The pillars of this new trend are François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Claude Chabrol, Eric Rohmer, Jacques Rivette and Alain Resnais. They are usually about thirty years old, are addicted to obscure theaters and most of them are critical for the magazine “Les Cahiers du Cinéma” (created in 1951). These young aspiring filmmakers are fed up with the cinematographic aca- demism in which France has been locked up for many years. François Truffaut denounced “a certain trend of French cinema” in Les Cahiers du Cinéma in 1954 in which he deplores the conformism of the old, “daddy’s cinema” and the bidding over the aesthetics and beautiful dialogues. He condemns the gap between reality and its representation on the screen. You can watch movies online free and taste the best of world cinema.
- But these young people do not just criticize, they take action, that is to say behind the camera. Thanks to the technical progress of the time (light and cheap camera, film sensitive to daylight for shooting off studios, synchronous sound quality), they finally reach the realization. Budgets are often modest (Claude Chabrol turns “The Beautiful Serge” thanks to a family heritage) and these fortune- makers have no or almost no experience in the staging but they embark on the adventure.
The Best Details
From then on, neat decors, studio shots, beautiful dialogues, unreal stories, and poster heads ended. This is the Space for strangers, street filming, simple stories, sometimes autobiographical, and often improvisation. They film life. Cinema is gaining in naturalness and simplicity.
- Young filmmakers often wear screenwriter-director-writer hats and their teams are minimal. The result of this work upset all the rules then in progress at the time. The editing is sometimes very approximate (“À Bout de souffle” by Jean-Luc Godard, 1960). However, even if a common goal unites these various young filmmakers – to end the conformism of previous years and to have an innovative approach to cinema – the comparison ends there. “Our only common point is the taste of electric billiards,” said François Truffaut.
No matte what, the audience is enthusiastic about these amateur-themed films, so different from the original films and the success is immediate. The number of first films doubles. New faces are appearing on screens such as Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jeanne Moreau, Jean-Claude Brialy, Bernadette Lafond and Jean-Pierre Léaud.
Among the directors, Roberto Gavaldón is the undisputed master of rural melodrama (Barraca, 1944, and Escondida, 1955), while Alejandro Gajindo offers a vision of melodrama close to the black films produced by Warner in the 1950s. thirty, from Campeón sin corona (1945) to Wet Backs (Espaldasmojades, 1953), censored for his anti-Americanism. Finally, baroque and excess characterize the cinema of Ismael Rodriguez, in Women of my general (lasMujeres de mi general, 1954).