Realism or Formalism?

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Overall documentary feel of . nouvelle vague . films. Location shooting, natural light, direct sound recording, grainy photography, casual composition. Long takes . Nouvelle Vague. Realism or Formalism?. ID: 436832 Download Presentation

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Realism or Formalism?

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Presentations text content in Realism or Formalism?


Realism or Formalism?

Overall documentary feel of

nouvelle vague


Location shooting, natural light, direct sound recording, grainy photography, casual composition

Long takes


Nouvelle Vague

Realism or Formalism?


Table of Contents


Nouvelle Vague

(French Film Style)


Individualism and Innovation in Filmmaking

3) Realist or Formalist?


Nouvelle Vague

The style of a number of highly individualistic French film directors of the late 1950s and early 1960s.


Nouvelle Vague

Young filmmakers in their 20s and 30s and Cineastes. Cinemateque Français (1936 - )


Nouvelle Vague

Their works were made under the influence of off-the-mainstream films – foreign language films, non-Western films, and American B movies.


Nouvelle Vague

Their works were made as a reaction to the carefully scripted and carefully filmed products of the French film industry.


Nouvelle Vague

With low budgets -- location shooting instead of building elaborate sets; contemporary drama instead of the historical one requiring period costumes; fresh young performers instead of stars.


Nouvelle Vague

Impact of Alexandre Astruc, André Bazin and Cahiers du cinema. Camera-Stylo (Camera-Pen) – Cinema must ‘to become a means of expression as supple and subtle as that of written language’ AstrucFilmmakers gain the status of authors. Break away from the tyranny of narrative and develop a new form of audiovisual language.


Nouvelle Vague

Cahiers du cinéma founded in 1951 by André Bazin and Jacques Doniol-ValcrozePersonal authorship – filmmaker is the author responsible for the entire product, which reflects his personal thought and is made of his personal audiovisual style.


Nouvelle Vague

Film should ideally be a medium of personal artistic expression and that the best films are therefore those that most clearly bear their maker’s ‘signature’ – the stamp of his or her individual personality, controlling obsessions, and cardinal themes. François Truffaut, ‘Une Certain tendance du cinéma français’


Nouvelle Vague

Attack against the postwar ‘tradition of quality’ – ‘literary/theatrical cinema, the commercial scenarist tradition with heavy emphasis on plot and dialogue.‘Cinema d’auteurs’ against ‘Cinema de papa’


Nouvelle Vague

Common characteristics

Contemporary drama

‘Non-narrative’ cinema with no or little plot

Experiments with visual style (portable hand-held 16 mm camera shots, and casual or no elaborate composition), and editing (fragmented and discontinuous montage or long take)

Combination of objective and subjective realism and authorial formalism.


Nouvelle Vague: First Films

1959 the landmark yearFrançois Truffaut’s Quatre cents coups (400 Blows)Alain Resnais’ Hiroshima, Mon amour Jean-Luc Godard A Bout de souffle (Breathless)


Nouvelle Vague: First Films

Quatre cents coups made by the 27-year-old Truffaut with $75,000, the loan from his father in law, is a lyrical but unsentimental account of a juvenile delinquent. Refreshingly casual, artless (no artificial lighting and synchronous recording of sound)


Nouvelle Vague: First Films

Hiroshima, Mon amour is about the relationship between time and memory in the context of a terrible tragedy. Resnais keeps the counterpoint between present and past by continually juxtaposing them and shifting between the objective and subjective narrative mode


Nouvelle Vague: First Films

Shot in four weeks fro $90,000 by Godard, A bout de souffle was in many ways the most characteristic and influential film of nouvelle vagueIt contains every major technical characteristics of nouvelle vague.


Nouvelle Vague: First Films

Scenes shot by a shaky hand-held cameraLocation shooting with natural light and direct recording on locationImprovised plot and dialogue


Nouvelle Vague: First Films

Elliptical style of editing

In sequences (a series of scenes that are connected by the unity of place or time) actions are shown in a few brief shots rather than fully depicted.

From the opening scene in which Michel steals a car and the scene in which he kills a cop and runs away.

A section of a single continuous shot is eliminated and then what remains is spliced together – jagged jump cut.


Nouvelle Vague: First Films

Jules et Jim (1961) – Truffaut’s third feature film and about two close friends falling in love with the same woman and trying to live together in ménage à trois after WWI. Exquisite emotional lyricism achieved through the unconventional use of zoom lens, slow motion, fast motion, freeze frame, and anamorphic distortion.


Realism or Formalism?

Some of the Nouvelle Vague films showed, for example, Paris streets and its inhabitants at the time many American films were still formulaic and studio bound. Paris nous appartient (Paris Belongs to Us, 1961) Godard


Realism or Formalism?

Les Cousins (The Cousins, 1959) – tells the story of two cousins, the decadent Paul and the naïve Charles who newly arrives at Paris. Charles falls in love with Florence, one of Paul’s many girl friends. People, places and institutions and their ways of life in Paris.


Realism or Formalism?

Avoiding to become literary or theatrical cinema, nouvelle vague filmmakers based their work on original scripts rather than novels or plays, and resort to improvisation. Eric Rohmer, La Boulangère de Monceau (1962) tells the story of a man who hesitates between two women.


Realism or Formalism?

Self-conscious use of filming techniques unconventional style or stylistic innovation Quotations from other filmsSelf-reference – nouvelle vague films are films about film, or films about filmmaking.








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