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A History of the French New Wave Cinema (Wisconsin Studies in Film) Paperback – February 19, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0299217044 ISBN-10: 0299217043 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Series: Wisconsin Studies in Film
  • Paperback: 440 pages
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press; 2 edition (February 19, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0299217043
  • ISBN-13: 978-0299217044
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #182,869 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

In this first history of the French New Wave to be written in English, Neupert (film studies, Univ. of Georgia) traces the development and maturation of the movement through the social, economic, and artistic atmosphere of the 1950s and 1960s and its numerous directors and supporters. He begins with forerunners like Agnes Varda and Jean-Pierre Melville and then moves on to early leaders like Roger Vadim and Louis Malle. Finally, he focuses on the critical group of Fran ois Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, and Claude Chabrol-onetime critics for the leading film journal Cahiers du Cinema who created some of the most innovative and exhilarating European films of the last century. Refreshingly jargon-free and full of interesting details and anecdotes, this book is a pleasure to read. Since most works treat individual directors rather than the movement as a whole, Neupert's book is highly recommended for academic libraries and large public libraries with strong film studies collections.
Andrea Slonosky, Long Island Univ. Lib., Brooklyn, NY
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Neupert offers brilliant analyses, whether of familiar or neglected films . . . [giving] a masterful sense of the movement, its sources, character, and its continuing influence. Essential."—Choice


"Refreshingly jargon-free and full of interesting details and anecdotes, this book is a pleasure to read."—Library Journal

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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By "jazzy_baby" on April 27, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Extremely well written, I really enjoy reading this book very much. The subject matter is no doubt fascinating, and the author, Mr. Neupert has done a wonderful job in presenting the history of the French New Wave Cinema. Not only does the author include a comprehensive political, cultural and commercial development that lead to the phenomenon, he also manages to present each influential New Wave directors, actors/actresses along with their important works in great detail. The book includes movie story lines in such detail that even if you have not seen the movie, you will appreciate and understand what the author is trying to convey. The author discusses issues on techniques, budgets and distributorship in French cinemas. Most interestingly, pictures from films discussed are liberally peppered throughout the book.
Mr. Neupert's writing style is greatly commendable. The words are straightforward and full of good information it's such a pleasure to read his book. I especially enjoy the title description Mr. Neupert gives for each of the directors. I feel that he's very accurate in describing Chabrol as "the one launching the wave", Varda's success for her "elegance realism" and my favorite Truffaut as "the wave's ringleader".
For a long time, I have always been in love with movies by Rohmer, Godard, Truffaut among others without exactly knowing the reason why. After reading this book, I understand why. The French New Wave Cinema is a complex phenomenon that is impossible to be understood without understanding the political, cultural, commercial as well as psychological (personality) landscapes of Europe/people during that era. If you love watching films by great directors like Truffaut, Rohmer, Chabrol and others, you should read this book. It's highly recommended.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By MarkusG on December 5, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very well written overview of the films that defined the french New Wave. The first chapter explains the historical, economic, political and cultural context (post-war France) and explains why there was a demand for a new kind of cinema. Remaining chapters presents directors like Melville, Truffaut, Godard, Varda, Resnais, Malle and some more with biographical info and film analysis. Each film analysis is excellent and made me go and buy the movies on DVD. Fortunately, almost every movie presented in the book has been released on high quality DVD from labels like Criterion, Masters of Cinema and BFI. Even early films like Melvilles Silence de la Mer is now available. To sum up: I can really recommend the book to everyone who wants to know more about French Cinema, and understand the New Wave in particular. It's very well written and very clear on a subject that in other cases has been presented in an over-theorized way. Great job!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dr René Codoni on January 5, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Neupert's Nouvelle Vague: Like having been there at the time

My cinema education was parallel to the French nouvelle vague, from 1959 onwards I saw whatever had come out. Zurich (or Basle or occasionally even Paris) was close enough to get the new films quite fast, sometimes even without subtitles (yet). Neupert's brilliant history is like he had been present also - which he wasn't; but I, as an eye witness, can vouch for his authenticity. His amount of detail is well documented, complete and correct, like of Pierre Kast's Le bel age (1960), in an opus hardly found elsewhere.

Having, after nearly fifty years, gone through literally all the nouvelle vague movies again at least once last year, I am very happy to have updated my memory. Dvd is simply wonderful compared to the various old systems of wheels and celluloid, so it needs to be a very poor copy to remind me of scratches, missing sound track and unevenly fixed torn or cut out pieces of film - very common occurrences in the past - to ever complain today. Another question are the extras, which were normally totally insignificant in the past.

The chronological approach has its advantages: What is or is not really nouvelle vague is not a conceptual problem, but judgment quickly made: So Malle's L'ascenseur and Les amants (both 1958) were clearly NV, as was Jacques Demy's Lola (1961) and Resnais' Hiroshima mon amour (1959), despite most appearing before the classic firsts of the Cahiers-Groupe, notably Truffaut and Godard. And what was really Chabrol's first? Whether it had ended by 1963 was an academic question as long as the right type of films, eg Rohmer's, were still forthcoming.

Which does not mean that, as a contemporary, you did not feel that things were changing.
Read more ›
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By cynicalgirl on November 7, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a huge fan of French new wave so this book was like the icing on the cake, a perfect companion to all my dvds. Did I mention I do NOT speak French? Despite that little complication (I read subtitles very well) I love the movies and I love this book.
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