When you think art house film, French New Wave (or Nouvelle Vague) is probably the first thing that comes to mind. Like many other modern art movements of the 20th century, the French New Wave was based on ideas.
In the 1950’s filmmakers and critics began waging a war against high budget movies that served as little more than attractions for the masses.
French New Wave film grew out of the French film magazine Cahiers Du Cinéma. The magazine altered the way people thought and spoke about cinema. It was no longer simply a means of escape; film became a serious artistic endeavor.
The Cahiers Du Cinema served as the living, continuously progressing, manifesto for the French New Wave movement. One of the cornerstones of their ‘manifesto’ was the concept of the auteur. It placed greater emphasis on the director as the ultimate creative voice of a film.
No two directors of the New Wave are better known than Jean-Luc Godard and François Truffaut. Breathless, directed by Godard, is one of our favorites— complete with gangsters, a love interest, and the beautiful Jean Seberg (a true fashion icon).