Over six issues of POVwinona, I will be concentrating on films made during the French New Wave. Each issue will cover the era’s sublime directors, techniques, styles, motifs as well as the implications behind the films. I have always loved everything about France, from the culture and food to its aesthetic. Being able to add French films to that list made this project all the more fun! I hope that you will share the same appreciation for the French New Wave as I do by the final issue.
The first issue consists of four classic French New Wave films starting with The 400 Blows directed by François Truffaut. In this poignant, beautiful semi-autobiographical film, Truffaut reflects upon his own bittersweet relationship with his parents. Next, Breathless directed by Jean-Luc Godard makes it clear that you have to romanticize your own life, but when should you stop? Hiroshima Mon Amour by Alain Renais plays with the idea of time and memories lost between two lovers–something that many films of the time did not, making it a refreshing change of pace. Finally, I explore the thriller film Eyes Without a Face, directed by Georges Franju. This chilling story leaves more than just a grotesque image of a face in your head – it challenges what true inner beauty is.
These four films make for an excellent introduction to the French New Wave. Each captures the essence of what the Nouvelle Vague was, exemplifying the lasting impact of the movement throughout time.