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The White Tuxedo
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PostSubject: World Cinema   Wed Aug 24, 2011 3:06 am

I've tried to watch BREATHLESS twice already. I'll make myself get through it on a third try. It's really all I've seen of the New Wave. I've watched mostly English-language films, and I see so many people here talking about all these other films and it sorta makes me feel like a cretin. laugh I remember when I was considered knowledgeable, now I feel like I'm tasting the dust left by many of you. So I intend, with my HDTV, to finally jump into all these movies where the people talk all funny.

Spotted this: http://www.newwavefilm.com/new-wave-cinema-guide/nouvelle-vague-where-to-start.shtml

Sounds like a decent place to start.

I was thinking of naming this thread "World Cinema". Perhaps someone can make that thread. I want to look at French, Italian, and Japanese cinema. I want to take a look at Tartovsky beyond SOLARIS. And Bergman. I want to see many things. Expand or die.

EDIT: I'm naming "World Cinema" instead of "The French New Wave". I surrendered to the logic.


Last edited by The White Tuxedo on Wed Aug 24, 2011 3:14 am; edited 1 time in total
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Harmsway
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PostSubject: Re: World Cinema   Wed Aug 24, 2011 3:13 am

There are different sides of the New Wave, the "left bank" and "right bank." They had different things going on. The right bank, which has Godard and Truffaut, were better self-promoters. But it's the left bank of the New Wave, with folks like Resnais, Melville, and Varda, that produced the most thoughtful, interesting work.
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HJackson
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PostSubject: Re: World Cinema   Wed Aug 24, 2011 3:48 am

The White Tuxedo wrote:
I've tried to watch BREATHLESS twice already. I'll make myself get through it on a third try.
I, personally, find Breathless a very dull film. I don't think Godard really hit his stride until Contempt, at which point he made a string of very good New Wave films. I'm not sure to what extent one can describe the films after Pierrot le fou as New Wave, since his primary focus seems to shift from the politics of cinema and filmmaking to the political ideologies of the real world, but that period is my favourite of his - especially Weekend.

I know people generally consider Weekend as the cutoff of his New Wave work, but I really don't see why one would choose to consider Masculin, féminin or La chinoise as part of the same movement as Shoot the Pianist, since they really share little if nothing in common. I think it's very hard to define the limits of the French New Wave as a movement, much like film noir, but doing such sounds like an interesting proposition to me.

harmsway wrote:
There are different sides of the New Wave, the "left bank" and "right bank." They had different things going on. The right bank, which has Godard and Truffaut, were better self-promoters. But it's the left bank of the New Wave, with folks like Resnais, Melville, and Varda, that produced the most thoughtful, interesting work.
I'm not sure I agree entirely with this. I do agree that the right bank were better at self-promotion, and they are unfairly exalted as the key artists of the movement, but I don't think the work of the left bank is, as a rule, more thoughtful than that of the right. For example, Godard's worst work is probably the result of being far too thoughtful (2 or 3 Things I Know About Her comes to mind).

I will say, as a statement of personal taste, that Resnais made the three best narrative films of the movement - namely Hiroshima mon Amour, Last Year at Marienbad, and Muriel.

Since the topic has expanded to world cinema generally, I guess I'll make a shameful confession. I can't really get into Japanese cinema because, as embarrassing as this is to admit, I have a very difficult time telling characters apart. I'm very much begining to enjoy the work of Shohei Imamura though, and I don't seem to be having the same problem with him, but if you get three women of the same age on the screen in an Ozu movie, I'm lost.
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Harmsway
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PostSubject: Re: World Cinema   Wed Aug 24, 2011 3:58 am

HJackson wrote:
I don't think Godard really hit his stride until Contempt, at which point he made a string of very good New Wave films.
I strongly disagree. VIVRE SA VIE is probably his best film, and that comes a few films before CONTEMPT. (Though CONTEMPT is also very good.) Godard post-ALPHAVILLE, though, isn't worth too much. Overtly political, but his political ideas aren't worth much. As Orson Welles says: “His gifts as a director are enormous. I just can’t take him very seriously as a thinker — and that’s where we seem to differ, because he does. His message is what he cares about these days, and, like most movie messages, it could be written on the head of a pin.”

HJackson wrote:
I will say, as a statement of personal taste, that Resnais made the three best narrative films of the movement - namely Hiroshima mon Amour, Last Year at Marienbad, and Muriel.
All splendid, splendid films.

If we're talking about world cinema, in general, then we must talk about European cinema earlier than the New Wave. The European work of early cinema masters like Dreyer, Murnau, Lang, and Pabst is astonishing.
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PostSubject: Re: World Cinema   Wed Aug 24, 2011 5:12 am

Anna Karina... yeah, I would.
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