Welcome back to the sixth and final issue of A Newcomer’s Guide to La Nouvelle Vague! What a wild ride it has been this semester. Even though there was an abundance of discord in 2020, because of that I think I’ll be fully prepared for whatever 2021 has in store – and I hope you all feel the same!
For the final issue, we’ll begin with a short documentary directed by Agnes Varda in 1968 titled Black Panthers that honestly documents the Black Panther Party at their rally about freeing Huey Newton while also touching on the topic of feminism. The next issue is on the 1972 film L’Amour l’après-midi, or Love in the Afternoon, directed by Eric Rohmer, which tells a story about a man who rediscovers his true love for his wife after pining after another woman. The third film we’ll discuss is Jean Luc-Godard’s 1972 Tout va Bien, which translates to, “Everything is Alright”, the film being a personal reflection of Godard’s work as a filmmaker but also a cinematic political statement about the frantic protests in France during the late 1960’s. The last film in this final French New Wave issue, La Nuit Américaine, or Day for Night, was released in 1973 and directed by François Truffaut; the film stars Truffaut himself and observes cinema as an art form, but also provoked a fall out between Truffaut and Godard and effectively ended the iconic film movement.
I don’t think i could choose just one film as my top pick out of all four films, and the decision becomes even harder if I had to pick one out of all the French New Wave films we’ve covered. Nonetheless, every single New Wave film has had some sort of impact on me and my outlook on life – for the better. The movement has remarkably increased my understanding about creativity and what it takes to create films that represent something more than just cinema. As my last concluding thought, I genuinely hope that each essay has been a pleasure to read and that you have discovered something enlightening on the way as well! As they say in France, au revoir, which means goodbye, until we meet again!