Jeff Gannon Blog

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Trust Me, I'm Extremely Familiar With The French New Wave


Many of you have been giving me grief about some of the films on my ground-breaking French New Wave Wish List. Specifically, thousands have pointed out that Claire's Knee was made in 1971, clearly outside of the French New Wave range of years. That range of years is somewhat debatable, but 1971 would never be in the discussion. I agree with Richard Neupert's definition from his excelent book, A History of the French New Wave Cinema:
For reasons that will become clear, this study prefers to summarize the New Wave as a complex network of historical forces, including all films made by young directors exploiting new modes of production as well as unusual story and style options. The New Wave per se lasts from 1958 through 1964. The New Wave era is just that, a time period during which social, technological, economic, and cinematic factors helped generate one of the most intensely creative movements in film history. The New Wave involves more than directors and movie titles; it comprises a whole new interpretation of the cinema and its narrative strategies.

So, yes, I'm aware that Claire's Knee isn't technically a New Wave Film. But it is a first generation New Waver and it was conceived in the spirit of the New Wave by one of the great thinkers of the New Wave. If you have a problem with that explanation, just donate a more traditional New Wave Film.

Oh, and I'm also aware that it applies to the last three films of this amazing cycle of films.



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