STARTED FROM NOTHING – is a series of posts, dedicated to film makers(and movements) that without Bank loans,Studio finances, independently made films, some of which went on to be classics, but also became influential, not only in the country, but on Global cinema, an generations of film-makers directly inspired by them
It may sound like as a strange thing to say, but World War 2 actually did a lot for the evolution and development of cinema as we know it today. From the propaganda film Triumph of the Will and Why we Fight that influenced how stories are told through editing , to the classics that were inspired Where Eagles Dare, The Dirty Dozen etc. But across in Europe , in the late 50’s a group of French Film Critics for Cahier Du Cinema tired of conventions and generic studio film-Making, decided to make their own films. Films that didnt follow the rules and were naturalistic and avante garde as much as possible.
The French Governemt was recovering from the effecs of the war and there was little or no money to start investing in film making and certainly not the type that Jean Luc Goddard,Francios Truffat,Eric Rohmer,Chabrol and others intended. Many of their film were produced on low budgets, and they often had to borrow friends apartments to use as locations. Theri family and friends also often served as cast and crew( no pay ofcourse)
Distincting themselves from conventional films ,their narratives were different, making no attempt to suspend disbelief, they shot with naturalistic lights, real locations, real location sound (nothing reprouced) , Filming techniques included fragmented, discontinuous editing, and long takes and they shot many films hand held, and often shot without permits on the streets. So the crowds were real people(not extras) going about their business and ended up in classics like A Bout De Souffle(Breathless) & A Bande Apart by Jean Luc Goddard.
The French New Wave would go on to inspire people like Francis Ford Coppolla, who started the American New Wave with in the late 60’s early 70’s George Lucas, Walter Murch and others(American Zoetrope). Cinema’s Enfante terrible Quentin Tarantino was so inspired by the FNW, that he named his company after Goddard’s film “A Band Apart”.
These low budget vibrant,innovative and self concious films made by these film lovers changed the landscape of cinema, not only in France , but in Europe and the United States. Influencing many of the American and British film makers that emerged between the 70’s and the early 00’s . Now THAT is a Legacy.
SOME FILM OF THE FRENCH NEW WAVE:
THE 400 BLOWS
A BAND APART
JULES AND JIM
LAST YEAR AT MARIENBAD