- new wave
—new-wave, adj. —newwaver.1. a movement, trend, or vogue, as in art, literature, or politics, that breaks with traditional concepts, values, techniques, or the like.2. (often caps.) a group of leaders or representatives of such a movement, esp. of French film directors of the late 1950s and early 1960s. Cf. nouvelle vague.3. (often caps.) a largely minimalist but emotionally intense style of rock music, being an outgrowth of punk rock in the late 1970s, typified by spare or repetitive arrangements, and emphasizing energetic, unpolished performance.[1955-60]
* * *Group of individualistic French film directors of the late 1950s, including Claude Chabrol, François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Louis Malle, Eric Rohmer, Alain Resnais, and others.Most of the New Wave directors were associated with the important film magazine Cahiers du Cinéma, in which they developed the highly influential auteur theory, calling for films to express the director's personal vision. Their films were characterized by a brilliance of technique that sometimes overshadowed the subject matter. Among the most important New Wave films were Godard's Breathless (1959), Truffaut's The 400 Blows (1959), and Resnais's Hiroshima mon amour (1959).
* * *▪ French film stylethe style of a number of highly individualistic French film directors of the late 1950s. Preeminent among New Wave directors were Louis Malle (Malle, Louis), Claude Chabrol (Chabrol, Claude), François Truffaut (Truffaut, François), Alain Resnais (Resnais, Alain), and Jean-Luc Godard (Godard, Jean-Luc), most of whom were associated with the film magazine Cahiers du cinéma, the publication that popularized the auteur theory in the 1950s. The theory held that certain directors so dominated their films that they were virtually the authors of the film.Films by New Wave directors were often characterized by a fresh brilliance of technique that was thought to have overshadowed their subject matter. An example occurs in Godard's Breathless (1960), in which scenes change in rapid sequence (“jump cuts”) to create a jerky and disconnected effect. Although it was never clearly defined as a movement, the New Wave stimulated discussion about the cinema and helped demonstrate that films could achieve both commercial and artistic success.
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