Cinema and Engagement in Sartre and Godard • Senses of Cinema
A bout de Souffle () Jean-Luc Godard Baisers De Cinéma, Photo. Visit Un homme, une femme, François Truffaut -My all times fav! couple & marriage. New Wave (French: La Nouvelle Vague) is a French film movement which emerged in the Truffaut, with The Blows () and Godard, with Breathless () had unexpected international successes, both critical and financial, that. François Roland Truffaut was a French film director, screenwriter, producer, actor, and film critic Two of his academic goals were to watch three movies a day and read three books a week. . In , Jean-Luc Godard accused Truffaut of making a movie that was a "lie", and Truffaut replied with a page letter in which.
Truffaut, with The Blows and Godard, with Breathless had unexpected international successes, both critical and financial, that turned the world's attention to the activities of the New Wave and enabled the movement to flourish. Part of their technique was to portray characters not readily labeled as protagonists in the classic sense of audience identification. The auteurs of this era owe their popularity to the support they received with their youthful audience.
Most of these directors were born in the s and grew up in Paris, relating to how their viewers might be experiencing life.
With high concentration in fashion, urban professional life, and all-night parties, the life of France's youth was being exquisitely captured.
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 movement has its roots in rebellion against the reliance on past forms often adapted from traditional novelistic structurescriticizing in particular the way these forms could force the audience to submit to a dictatorial plot-line.
They were especially against the French "cinema of quality", the type of high-minded, literary period films held in esteem at French film festivals, often regarded as "untouchable" by criticism. New Wave critics and directors studied the work of western classics and applied new avant garde stylistic direction.
The low-budget approach helped filmmakers get at the essential art form and find what was, to them, a much more comfortable and contemporary form of production. Charlie ChaplinAlfred HitchcockOrson WellesHoward HawksJohn Fordand many other forward-thinking film directors were held up in admiration while standard Hollywood films bound by traditional narrative flow were strongly criticized.
Many of these directors, such as Edmond Agabra and Henri Zaphiratos, were not as successful or enduring at the well-known members of the New Wave and today would not be considered part of it.
With its B-feature crime plot, hand-held camerawork and natural lighting, references to Sam Fuller and Humphrey Bogart, quotations from Faulkner and Apollinaire, and an opening dedication to the Poverty Row studio Monogram Pictures, there had never been anything like it. It also had striking performances from the well-known Jean Seberg, whose career it revived, and the unknown Jean-Paul Belmondo, whom it made a star.
Godard was to work consistently with major names over the next odd years, but he never had another box-office hit. In the early s Godard was the world's most discussed, interviewed and quoted film-maker, and his appearance the blue chin, the receding hair, the opaque dark glasses became familiar the world over. Sayings of his entered the language, among them 'the cinema is the truth 24 times a second' and 'I agree that a film should have a beginning, a middle and an end but not necessarily in that order'.
His second picture, The Little Soldier, dealt with the Algerian War and was temporarily banned, the first in a string of controversies. In eight years he made 14 films, most photographed by the great cameraman Raoul Coutard.
Deeply influenced by Brecht in the use of chapter headings and the 'alienation effect' by which you're kept aware that you're watching a movie, these pictures were a remarkable combination of intelligent invention and irritating childishness as they played games with established genres - science-fiction in Alphaville, the musical in Une Femme est Une Femmethe noir thriller in Made in America.
Levine, who wanted a sexy art-house picture starring Brigitte Bardot. Godard, who loved American films as much as he hated the industry that produced them, deliberately shot Bardot's nude scenes unerotically and sent up Levine as the ignorant Hollywood mogul played by Jack Palance.
French New Wave
Godard nearly got to make a feature in America when the authors of Bonnie and Clyde introduced him to their financial backers. They blanched when he said that shooting should start in three weeks and pointed out that the weather in Texas was unsuitable. What really made the producers back off was Godard's claim that 'we can make this film anywhere; we can make it in Tokyo'. Such was Godard's status at the time that the screenwriters, Robert Benton and David Newman, would have been happy to have him make it in Tokyo.
Gradually in the s Godard's characters turned from nihilistic outsiders to committed revolutionaries and the films became more determinedly, if callowly, political. He later moved to Switzerland, his base for the last 20 years.
There he's experimented with video, produced a gnomic eight-hour history of cinema, and made a succession of tedious, often deliberately incomprehensible pictures like the ridiculous Lear Godard had never read Shakespeare's play.
The contract for Lear was drawn up on a paper napkin at Cannes with Cannon Films, but its star, Norman Mailer, walked off the set after two days' shooting, and Woody Allen, who's supposed to be the Fool, is seen for a few silent seconds in a cutting room.
Instead, Truffaut speaks of Monroe as a collection of parts: He first describes her in the following way: From one viewpoint, the energy of Hollywood must be called super-artistic. At the same time, its power to present the real—the illusion of the real—is so great that effects flow from it which engulf the beholder and I confess I am one such in a maze of symbolic emotions.
Hollywood produces very few artistically great films. So if you want to write extensively about Hollywood, you must move beyond the evaluation of its aesthetic qualities and focus on its super-artistic qualities: But Hollywood possesses an endless ability to provoke emotional experiences—through moments and fragments—and what the critic can write about is limited only by his or her creativity: Surely, one can no longer write in this way if one desires a politically engaged, academically rigorous criticism.
Evaluation consistently intermingled with polemic and rampant impressionism, so when Film Studies became a discipline, academic critics abandoned it—and the serious work it involved—to journalistic film reviewers.
Godard only knows | Film | The Guardian
I can make a claim about a film that originates in my subjective experience, but through criticism, I make that claim public for discussion or debate in order to achieve a more accurate evaluation.
He could, had he wished, shown us what he meant. In this way, a judgment that originates in subjective experience becomes slightly more objective by being articulated and demonstrated through proof from the film.
That Truffaut does not do so weakens his evaluation. We can see the difference between a more objective evaluative claim and subjective impressionism more clearly when we compare the first part of the footnote with the very last point Truffaut makes: Recall, for example, the form F. Leavis says that evaluative judgments take: When Truffaut rhapsodizes, he does not make any truth claim that requires our assent; rather, he writes of what Immanuel Kant would call judgments of the agreeable as opposed to judgments of the beautiful.
Many things may for him possess charm and agreeableness—no one cares about that. Perkins writes, sound criticism must strive for this level of objectivity: The review combines two modes—one associative and impressionistic, the other slightly more objective—and makes the review an unsettling mixture for anyone who desires a more disinterested evaluation. I can see two ways to deal with this problem. First, we could take a hardline stance and say that Truffaut and other Cahiers critics did not actually write criticism if we adopt the historical definition of criticism as reasoned evaluation.
In fact, only Movie, with its close readings, fits snugly with the historical definition of criticism.
FRANCOIS TRUFFAUT - French New Wave Director
But it seems both undesirable and heretical to draw such lines and say that Cahiers was a magazine of film reviews, interviews, and journalism—but not proper film criticism. Second, and more productively, we can use this problem to think about the values we care most about in criticism. For we can see a paradox operating: But if we go to the opposite extreme—scientific objectivity—what results?
To do so, we would have to appeal to fixed standards of cinematic quality. We could then create a syllogism and measure each film according to those standards in order to prove its success.
A, B, and Z.
Cahiers du Cinéma and Evaluative Criticism
The syllogism would run like the following one: All good films have properties A, B, and Z. But this presents two major problems: For artists, such a syllogism would discount originality, for one would only have to create a film that contained those elements for it to achieve success.
For critics, the syllogism would allow one to judge a work without having to experience it first-hand.