Influences and Techniques in French New Wave

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- Late 1950s and 1960s - The socio-economic forces at play shortly after World War II strongly influenced the movement. Politically and financially drained, France tended to fall back on the old popular pre-war traditions. One such tradition was straight narrative cinema, specifically classical French film. - The New Wave stimulated discussion about the cinema and helped demonstrate that films could achieve both commercial and artistic success. - Influenced by Italian Neorealism and classical Hollywood cinema - Never a formally organized movement - "New Wave" is an example of European Art Cinema - Many also engaged in their work with the social and political upheavals of the era, making their radical experiments with editing, visual style and narrative part of a general break with the conservative paradigm - Using portable equipment and requiring little or no set up time, the New Wave way of filmmaking presented a documentary type style - Filming techniques included fragmented, discontinuous editing, and long takes - The combination of objective realism, subjective realism, and authorial commentary created a narrative ambiguity in the sense that questions that arise in a film are not answered in the end - Many of the French New Wave films were produced on tight budgets; often shot in a friend's apartment or yard, using the director's friends as the cast and crew - The cost of film was also a major concern; thus, efforts to save film turned into stylistic innovations - The cinematic stylings of French New Wave brought a fresh look to cinema with improvised dialogue, rapid changes of scene, and shots that go beyond the common 180° axis - New Wave filmmakers made no attempts to suspend the viewer's disbelief; in fact, they took steps to constantly remind the viewer that a film is just a sequence of moving images - Films by New Wave directors were often characterized by a fresh brilliance of technique that was thought to have overshadowed their...
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