French New Wave

Nouvelle Vague (French: " New Wave ") is a style that originated in the French cinema of the late 1950s.

  • 3.1 core
  • 3.2 Rive Gauche and extended circle

The beginnings

End of the 50s, a movement arose in France among young film-makers who turned against the entrenched imagery and the predictable narrative flow of the established commercial cinema. The representatives were young directors with experience as a film critic, who published mainly in Les Cahiers du cinéma. In their articles they opposed the Verbiederung and the predictability of the French quality cinema ( cinéma de qualité ) and propagated mainly films by directors such as Alfred Hitchcock, Howard Hawks, Jean Renoir and Rossellini.

Published in 1954 François Truffaut the article A certain tendency in French cinema ( Une certaine tendance du cinéma français). This text is considered the first own theoretical basis of the Nouvelle Vague and aimed primarily against those screenwriters who adapt uninspired novel templates without having even a reference to the movie theater. The claim: "Men of cinema " should make movies and not be dictated to by writers, which is formed into a film and what is not.

Policy of the authors

Founded upon the writings of Alexandre Astruc and led by André Bazin, the editor in chief and one of the founders of the Cahiers, they developed the policy of the authors ( politique des auteurs ). This policy called for by the director, to participate in all stages of film production, so as to develop their own personal style can. This characteristic signature of the director's films should be personal and individual and emerge from the shadows of the literature. It will not be the individual in a director rated, but always his oeuvre. Hence, only the relationship of an author to his film, which expressions in the way of its implementation. It differs from the Director ( réalisateur ), who always converting only as prescribed by the script writer of history. Author ( auteur ) is therefore, who recreates Observed ( récréer ). He could so far as a foreign substance by editing and transcendence put his personal stamp. However, the policy of the authors is not to be confused with the author's film in Germany. Also, a translation with auteur theory is incorrect because it neglects its associated demands on the directors.

Michel Marie understands the Nouvelle Vague as an art - school ( école artistique ). The policy of authors can be understood in this sense as an aesthetic program, after which the author presents his view of the world ( vision du monde ) inscribes the film. The solid body of debut films that relate to a common program and are perceived as Nouvelle Vague, also support the view to speak of a school. A solid group context is funded by the journalistic support of the film magazines ( Cahiers du cinéma ) and most importantly - Michel Marie emphasizes explicitly - there are common enemies: the authors of the Rive Gauche, gathered around the film magazine Positif much politisiertere.

Pulse and precursor of the Nouvelle Vague, are to be found in Italian neo-realism in documentary films by directors such as Jean Rouch and the American B-movies.


By developing new lighter cameras and more light-sensitive film material, it was the filmmakers first time possible to rotate and work outside the film studios with a handheld camera without artificial light. The photograph of the cameraman Raoul Coutard was going crucial for the visual aesthetics.

The directors mainly engaged young unknown actors rather than the established movie stars. Music played an important role in the films, as well as new film techniques and unusual narrative styles were characteristic. There he published the essay film.

The best time of the Nouvelle Vague lasted until the mid-60s. The developed effects and narrative techniques are still used today, even in commercial films and advertising used.

Important directors


Rive Gauche and extended circle

Known actors


  • Néstor Almendros
  • Raoul Coutard
  • André Weinfeld
  • Henri Decaë
  • Jean Rabier

Significant Movies

  • The Disappointed ( " Le Beau Serge ", Claude Chabrol, 1958)
  • Hiroshima, mon amour (Alain Resnais, 1959)
  • They kissed and they beat him ( " Les Quatre cents coups ", François Truffaut, 1959)
  • Breathless ( "À bout de souffle ", Jean -Luc Godard, 1960)
  • Paris belongs to us ( " Paris nous appartient ," Jacques Rivette, 1961)
  • Last Year at Marienbad ( " L' année dernière à Marienbad ," Alain Resnais, 1961)
  • Cleo - Wednesday 5-7 ( " Cléo de 5 à 7", Agnès Varda, 1961)
  • Lola (Jacques Demy, 1961)
  • Adieu Philippine (Jacques Rozier, 1962)
  • Jules and Jim ( " Jules et Jim " F. Truffaut, 1962)
  • The outsiders band ( " Bande à part", J.-L. Godard, 1964)
  • Eleven clock at night ( " Pierrot le fou " J.-L. Godard, 1965)
  • Stolen Kisses ( " meringues volés, F. Truffaut, 1968)
  • The unfaithful wife ( " La femme infidèle ", Claude Chabrol, 1969)
  • My Night at Maud ( "Ma nuit chez Maud ", Éric Rohmer, 1969)
  • Table and bed ( "Domicile conjugal " F. Truffaut, 1970)
  • The Mother and the Whore ( " La Maman et la putain ", Jean Eustache, 1973)