The New Waves

Intermediate—Year

The New Wave is often assumed to be a uniquely French development in which, around 1960, a group of young film critics modernized filmmaking in their innovative first feature films that appealed to the tastes of young people as never before. In fact, the years 1958-67 saw a host of new cinemas emerge throughout Europe and beyond, as young filmmakers entered the film industry in unprecedented numbers and pioneered new film forms and styles. This course will consider The New Wave as an international phenomenon. Hence, although we will begin in France with the films of Godard, Truffaut, Chabrol, Resnais, and Varda, we will quickly shift focus to young filmmakers working in other countries in Europe in the 1960s, such as Bertolucci and Pasolini in Italy, Reisz and Anderson in Great Britain, and Kluge and Straub/Huillet in Germany. We will then turn our attention to the Young Cinema in Poland, the Czech New Wave, and the New Cinemas in Yugoslavia and Hungary; we will end the first semester with the work of Tarkovsky and Paradzhanov in the Soviet Union. We will begin the second semester with the extraordinary films of Oshima, Teshigahara, Yoshida, Shinoda, Imamura, Suzuki, and other members of the Japanese New Wave before moving on to the New Hollywood of the late 1960s, in which filmmakers such as Kubrick, Scorsese, and Altman combined classical Hollywood genres with modernist innovations. Finally, we will consider the more politicized Cinema Novo in Brazil. Throughout, we will pay attention to the innovations of individual filmmakers, what they shared in common, the extent to which they transformed their film industries, and the social and economic conditions that made their innovations possible. Previous study of film history is a prerequisite for this class.