They were using portable instruments. This meant that they needed very little or no time to set up. Their films resembled documentaries in style. Filming skills and techniques involved discontinuous and fragmented editing. The socio-economic effects of the Second World War influenced the formation of this movement (Bazin, 1985, 248-259). France was politically and financially drained; therefore, the country tended to go back to the old pre-war traditions (Klin, 1992, 8).
One of those old traditions was going back to the classical French film which was narrative cinema. In this style, the audience was subjected to a forceful plot-line. Some referred to it as a dictatorial plot-line. According to Klin, the new wave was against the quality of cinema in France. French classical cinema was considered to be of high –minded type and which was unmoved by critics (1992, 8).
The French new wave was popular between 1959 and 1964. The new wave directors had to study the work done by western classics. The emerging group then applied a new avant garde stylistic direction. This ended up being a low budget approach. One of its advantages was that it helped the filmmakers get at the necessary art form. They were able to develop what they considered a more authentic and honest production (Bazin, 1985, 248-259). Howard Hawks and Charlie Chaplin among many other great film makers were held in high regard and considered as forward-thinking film makers. There was a craving among the younger generation to have another kind of entertainment. They knew that the process of executing change was not going to be easy. This is because they had to challenge the status quo (Bazin, 1985, 248-259). Generally speaking, some traditions had to be broken. Many of French new wave films were shot using a director’s friends as crew and cast. They were also shot in friends’ apartments. This is because they were under tight budgets. Tracking shots were improvised from shopping carts. Many other types of equipment have to be improvised (Klin, 1992, 8). Trying to make the movies stylish was a challenge. This is because the cost of production was a major concern. For instance, Jean-Luc production ‘breathness’ had to be cut short by one and half hours. This is because it was too long. Several scenes had to be removed, and jump cuts had to be made. The desire to make the film stylish brought a new look into the movie industry. The dialogue was improvised and shots could go beyond 180° axis. Besides, rapid changes were made in scenes. This was a break from the past. The expectations of the cinema were fully met. Long narratives and illusions were being replaced by bold techniques (Bazin, 1985, 248-259). This caused Jean-Luc to be accused of being contemptuous of his audience. This was a desperate and relentless struggle to break from the mainstream cinema. It was about breaking the set cinema rules (Klin, 1992, 8). The challenging awareness that was demonstrated back then can be seen today. That was remarkable. The practice of a character stepping out of their place or role to address the audience is now a common thing. This was innovated back then. The French new wave also wanted to attach the naivety in the cinema industry back then. Classic French cinemas kept to the
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The French New Wave
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