French New Wave

Essay by lauramaywilliams11University, Bachelor'sB+, November 2014

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FTV 209 Assessment 1

Laura Williams 207852

How has French New Wave film makers impacted on current film and

television today?

Laura Williams


Screen History

FTV 209

P a g e | 2 of 5

FTV 209 Assessment 1

Laura Williams 207852

French New Wave Cinema started out as a bizarre spectacle, rejecting traditional

linear storytelling and creating a new appearance to films. A group of French film

critics working for a magazine called Cahiers di Cinéma decided to make films more

about the techniques of film, rather than the content or story line. Directors still use

this style a lot in modern films like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Pulp

Fiction and more. But to understand how it is used you must firstly understand what

this style is and what it consists of.

The French New Wave (FNW) style allows you to make your film in a "natural" way,

using hand held cameras, creating a documentary style, and cheaply make camera

accessories like a shopping trolley as a dolly track. FNW films had low budgets and

the originals (Breathless 1959, Jean Luc Godard) were often just filmed in the

director's friend's apartment. The actors were not professional actors, just friends of

the director and random people. If they happened to be actors then they would be

new and fresh faced so nobody knew who they were yet. It didn't matter if the acting

was poor because FNW films were more about the making of the film rather than the

telling of a story. Jump cuts were used to disguise mistakes like poor acting but then

they became a huge part of the artistic foundations of FNW. Shots were long and

continuous, with little to no editing. Sound was...