History of the French New Wave Cinema / Edition 1

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Overview

    The French New Wave cinema is arguably the most fascinating of all film movements, famous for its exuberance, daring, and avant-garde techniques. A History of the French New Wave Cinema offers a fresh look at the social, economic, and aesthetic mechanisms that shaped French film in the 1950s, as well as detailed studies of the most important New Wave movies of the late 1950s and early 1960s.
    Richard Neupert first tracks the precursors to New Wave cinema, showing how they provided blueprints for those who would follow. Jean-Pierre Melville, Alexandre Astruc, and the young Agnès Varda all offered valuable narrative lessons and cheap production models. They were followed by Roger Vadim and Louis Malle, whose sexy story lines and lively new narrative strategies helped define a marketable, youthful cinema. But Neupert demonstrates that it was a core group of critics-turned-directors from the magazine Cahiers du Cinéma—especially François Truffaut, Claude Chabrol, and Jean-Luc Godard—who really revealed that filmmaking was changing forever. Later, their cohorts Eric Rohmer, Jacques Rivette, Jacques Doniol-Valcroze, and Pierre Kast continued in their own unique ways to expand the range and depth of the New Wave.
    A History of the French New Wave Cinema captures the dramatic impact these films made upon their release, closely examining such famous movies as The 400 Blows (Truffaut, 1959) and Breathless (Godard, 1960), as well as many less-studied films, including La Pointe Courte (Varda, 1955), Paris Belongs to Us (Rivette, 1960), and Le Bel Age (Kast, 1964).
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In this first history of the French New Wave to be written in English, Neupert (film studies, Univ. of Georgia) traces the development and maturation of the movement through the social, economic, and artistic atmosphere of the 1950s and 1960s and its numerous directors and supporters. He begins with forerunners like Agnes Varda and Jean-Pierre Melville and then moves on to early leaders like Roger Vadim and Louis Malle. Finally, he focuses on the critical group of Fran ois Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, and Claude Chabrol-onetime critics for the leading film journal Cahiers du Cinema who created some of the most innovative and exhilarating European films of the last century. Refreshingly jargon-free and full of interesting details and anecdotes, this book is a pleasure to read. Since most works treat individual directors rather than the movement as a whole, Neupert's book is highly recommended for academic libraries and large public libraries with strong film studies collections.-Andrea Slonosky, Long Island Univ. Lib., Brooklyn, NY Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780299181642
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
  • Publication date: 12/1/2002
  • Series: Wisconsin Studies in Film
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Neupert is Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor of Film Studies at the University of Georgia. He is the author of The End: Closure and Narration in the Cinema and his translations include Aesthetics of Film and French New Wave: An Artistic School.
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Table of Contents

Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Introduction
1 Cultural Contexts: Where Did the Wave Begin? 3
2 Testing the Water: Alexandre Astruc, Agnes Varda, and Jean-Pierre Melville 45
3 New Stories, New Sex: Roger Vadim and Louis Malle 73
4 Claude Chabrol: Launching a Wave 125
5 Francois Truffaut: The New Wave's Ringleader 161
6 Jean-Luc Godard: Le Petit Soldat 207
7 The Cahiers du cinema Cohort: Eric Rohmer, Jacques Rivette, Jacques Doniol-Valcroze, and Pierre Kast 247
Conclusion: A Network of Carrier Waves 307
Notes 307
Bibliography 320
Index 331
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