FRENCH NEW WAVE
A GUIDE for HOLLYWOOD BLOCK BUSTER
NGUYEN HONG NGOC MAI
14071 - Diploma Level 2, ANN3A
TABLE OF CONTENT
• Historical Background
• Characteristics: Setting, Editing, Narrative, Auteur Theory
• Influence to Modern Cinema: Technical, Ideolology
4. Block Buster Hollywood movie: Its problem and Suggestion to
1940 - 1944: Nazi occupied Paris
Shortage on petrol
Limited choice of movies, American film were banned
Jean-Luc Godard Eric Rohmer
French New Wave (1958 - 1968):
• Influence by Italian Neo-realism realist of post-war economic and
moral conditions, their filming location and use non-professional actor.
• Reject the Classical Narrative Hollywood mainstream studio, which
diminish the individual style of director.
Director: Jean-Luc Godard
À BOUT DE SOUFFLÉ (1960)
• One of the earliest and most influential of
French New Wave.
• A young man Michel (Jean Paul Belmondo)
steal a car in Marseille and shoot a police who
follow him on the country road. He hides at his
girlfriend' apartment Patricia (Jean Seberg)
and call in a loan to try escapes to Italy.
Patricia betrays him by telling the police. He
then been shot by the police and after a
prolonged death run,he dies "à bout de
• Shoot on Location - Abandon studio
• Natural Light
• Natural Sound
• Handheld Camera
• No star-system
CHARACTERISTICS - Settings
Casual - Natural Look
FREE EDITING STYLE
• Jump cut, Long Take shot, Long Tracking Shot
• Monologue - Character talk directly to camera
• Long take shot
CHARACTERISTICS - Editing
CHARACTERISTICS - Narrative
• Linear Structure
• Chronological Time
• Hero Protagonist
• Female character portrayed as eye-
candy or victim, passive, mostly
support for male hero character.
• Strong relate to script and screen-
• Non Linear Structure
• No necessary sense of chronological
• Protagonist act immoraly, anti hero
• Female character were given strong
parts in movie, independent and active -
reshape the stereotype of femme fatale.
• Script often be written on spot, Actors
were encouraged to write their own lines,
talk like in real life.
FRENCH NEW WAVECLASSICAL NARRATIVE HOLLYWOOD
CHARACTERISTICS - Auteur theory
• 1st mentioned by Francois Truffaut in an essay entitled "A Certain Tendency
in French Cinema".
• Film should not be just for entertain, but it should be traited as a medium to
reflect the director's personal vision.
--> A good director is one who can stamp his individual personality
into his film.
--> Director should not limit himself in a strict artistic conduct, they should
experiment and tell the story in a unique way, reflect their vision,
no matter the film is well-received or not.
INFLUENCE - Technique
Reservoir Dogs (1992) - Quentin Tarantino
Long Tracking shot - Opening dinner scene
Long Take shot - Torture scene
• On location shooting
• Low Budget Filming
INFLUENCE - Ideology
• Encourage Film makers to not limit themselves and free up
cinema to come to its own as an art form, to sign their film
with their own personality and style.
• It is not necessary to have enormous budgets, established
actors to make a good movie. It is about the love of making
movie and all the effort, creativity and imagination.
INFLUENCE - Ideology
"I want to feel that the people who made that film think it's the
best movie in the world, that they poured everything into it and
they really love it. Whether or not I agree with what they've
done, I want that effort there – I want that sincerity. "
- Christopher Nolan, With Inception, Can Christopher Nolan Save the
Summer?, The Village Voice. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
Block buster movies - mix of Classical and French New Wave?
• Adaptation, Sequel
• Strong CGI, lack content
• Weak director's mark,
define style base on film
Block buster movies - Influence from French New Wave
Man of Steel (2013)
Director: Zack Snyder
Producer: Christopher Nolan
A poor combination between
form and content, but it is a
good sign from Holywood that
they're trying to change the
French New Wave has broaden the boundaries of traditional film making and
free up cinema to it's own form as an art genre that we love most today.
Its influence including both technical (setting, editing, narratives
technique) and ideology (auteur theory) still remains today and continue
to encourage many film-makers to experiment and express themself in
Nowadays modern cinema has been witnessing the strong development of CGI
and 3D technique, with strong visual effect but lack of content and style. We
are slowly move back to the Classic day where enormous budget and studio
style rules the cinema industry. It is time to slow down and balance the form
and content of the movie.
• Phil Powrie and Keuth Reader (2002), French Cinema Student's Guide, British
Library Cataloguing in Publication Data
• Mary P. Wood (2007), Contemporary European Cinema, Bloomsburry
• Thomas Elsaesser (2005), European Cinema Face to face with Hollywood,
Amsterdam niversity Press, Amsterdam
• Robert Sklar (1993), Film: An International History of the Medium, Harry N.