by Marian Radulescu
translated from Romanian by Claudia Moscovici
We can’t speak about À bout de souffle without situating it in what was called, in the sixties, New Wave Cinema (“la nouvelle vague”). The representatives of this innovative current (François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Louis Malle, Claude Chabrol, Jacques Rivette, Eric Rohmer, Alain Resnais, Roger Vadim, Agnès Varda) studied French Film and were particularly interested in documentaries (some of them were even made by them). They came from different social backgrounds; had different interests and styles and were trained at the school of the journal Cahiers du cinéma. Nouvelle vague cinema engages in a polemic with the cinema of the forties (“le cinéma de papa“), proposing an elliptical style which sidesteps the rules of conventional directing. Hence, the movements of the camera lose some of their elegance, becoming harsh and without finesse. Classic narrative is abandoned in favor of an unruly narrative style, full of repetition and nonsequitors, as well as abrupt changes in tone.
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Claudia Moscovici, Cinema Classics