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Two In The Wave (English Subtitled) NR

3.7 out of 5 stars (6) IMDb 6.7/10

TWO IN THE WAVE documents the intensely combative and creative relationship between French New Wave directors Jean-Luc Godard & Francois Truffaut.

Isild Le Besco, Anouk Aimée
1 hour, 32 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Documentary
Director Emmanuel Laurent
Starring Isild Le Besco, Anouk Aimée
Supporting actors Jean-Pierre Aumont, Charles Aznavour, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jacqueline Bisset, Jean-Claude Brialy, Claude Chabrol, Jean Cocteau, Raoul Coutard, Jean Desailly, Marie Dubois, Jean-Luc Godard, Chantal Goya, Claude Jade, Anna Karina, Pierre Kast, Bernadette Lafont, Fritz Lang, Henri Langlois
Studio Viacom Media Networks
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Format: DVD
As an American who's seen some films by each of these two revolutionaries (I'm especially fond of Godard's), I found this documentary about them, their movies, their relationship, and their times very informative. It's one of those things that, while it teaches me so much, also reminds of how much I still don't know. By that I mean, I can watch the films of Godard and Truffaut and believe that I appreciate and "get" them, including how they "changed French cinema forever." But then, how can I do that, really, without fully knowing the contexts in which the films were made? Or why their makers made them, and what they apparently meant to say with them? Since their work isn't faked fly-on-the-wall "realism," it's always doing something different. I can catch--understand, and feel--some of that difference, but their films can't speak honestly to me, as I think their makers generally meant them to do, unless I know much more than I do so far about the makers and their contexts.

"Two in the Wave" goes a long way in providing context (social, intellectual, political, journalistic, and more) and it makes me think that I should watch a Godard film, then watch this documentary again, then see a Truffaut film, and see this documentary again, then a Godard, and so on.

I do have two complaints--throughout much of this film, there's a woman flipping through magazines, especially Cahiers du Cinema (for which both G and T got their start, as very young film critics). I waited for an explanation of her presence, which never came, unless I missed it; she became distracting.
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Format: DVD
While the so-called French New Wave is a complex artistic and historical movement, with important precursors and wide-ranging influences, it was announced to the world by Francois Truffaut's The 400 Blows and Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless. They are, in fact, quite different, but both capture a youthful enthusiasm, a sense that cinema matters, and a willingness to deviate from traditional cinematic norms. Emmanuel Laurent's engaging documentary explores the rise and fall of the French New Wave through the lens of a longstanding friendship between the directors of these two films, that soured shortly after the political protests in France of 1968.

The approach of the documentary is to reflect upon this friendship without narration, but only using the recorded and written words of Godard and Truffaut and many of their contemporaries, illustrating these words with newspaper stories, documentary footage, and sequences from a wide range of films. While Truffaut made the first feature film of the two, Godard followed shortly (and it was Truffaut's promise to the producers that he would take over in the event Godard had difficulties that sealed the deal). Their films were quite different, insofar as Truffaut tended to create fairly traditional narratives that were given a new vitality by means of the subject matter and experimental techniques. Godard, by contrast, tended to create films that directly commented on and challenged traditional forms.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
As someone obsessed with the films of the French New Wave, I was totally into this documentary. The method/style of showing a young girl flipping through pages of old French film magazines was actually quite clever the more they used it, and it made me wish I had my own copies of these classic film journals. My only wish is that the filmmakers would have included more information about Eric Rohmer, Claude Chabrol, and Agnes Varda, but I guess that would've taken away from their thesis/emphasis on Truffaut/Godard. And finally, Godard was right to criticize the later Truffaut films. While entertaining, they really are just middlebrow entertainments - the very type of movies he railed against as a young critic.
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