French New Wave

The French New Wave was a movement after World War II that brought a new way to tell stories to the world of cinema. It was a way for artists to express themselves in the way of film.  These filmmakers were able to prove that they could make successful artistic films without the mainstream studios in the form of short films. In Europe, short films are valued more that they are in the United States.  It is also considered that the directors in France were responsible for this new wave of filmmaking like, Francois Truffant, Jean-Luc Godard and Eric Rohmer just to name a few were the true founders of modern independent filmmaking.

This new way of filming was introduced as a way for people to show their own style of filmmaking creating this Auteur cinematic style that we see today.  For France was in complete ruin after the war and they needed some form of entertainment to lift peoples spirits. This style of cinema allowed these directors to show original films and more about human life, life as it was after World War II.

Free Cinema was one of the forms that erupted out of this film era in France.  It is what allowed all these expressionists film makers to make films demonstrating the French way of life for free.  If you want to see more on Free Cinema, look at some of my previous blogs and if you want to see more on Auteur cinema look at Alisa’s blog  at


Italian Neorealism, Post World War II Italy

This movement in Italy came out of the ashes of World War II. Filmmakers in Italy wanted to show the effects during the war as well as after. It was powered by the seeking of truth by these filmmakers.  These filmmakers were using cheap film stock and reels due to the lack of resources and money after a country was left in ruin. All the theatres were destroyed during the war so this new form of film, like documentaries were coming up in Italy.

Both De Sica and Zavattini wanted to “deromanticize” cinema and show the world as it was, there were realists in their film making. These fimlmakeres wanted to show the harshness of their lives with simple stories and documentary films of what life was truly like after the war.

In this video, you see the NY Times talk about this film movement as well as a film called Bicycle Thief that was directed by De Sica:

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Hollywood Post World War II

When you talk about Post World War II Cinema, one has to realize that this topic has many other titles and stories throughout the world after the death of FDR and the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. You have to talk about the fall and rebuilding of the monopoly of cinema in America known as Hollywood. You then have to talk about Europe and its cinema re-birth in Italy called “Italian Neorealism”. Then there is the “French New Wave of Cinema”, where you see film enthusiasts create a new style of cinema to what is called Auteur Cinema. The world was after this war had to rebuild its theaters and use what they had to show their artistic visions, the filmmakers all over the world had a chance to rebuild the world of cinema and they did just that.

The first Hollywood film ever created, “In Old California”, was directed by no other than D.W. Griffith in the town Hollywood. Since then, Hollywood has become a word to describe American cinema and the place to be to become a big filmmaker or star in America. From here Hollywood’s image is shaped by names like Charlie Chapman, D.W. Griffith, and Buster Keaton until Technicolor was introduced in the late 1930’s to early 1940’s. Then as the War rolled along the cinematic world lost many of its main actors to the war and saw new genres come about like war movies and film noir. Then as the war end, Hollywood is looked at through the eye of communism as a monopoly and anti-monopoly legislation tore down major film studios in Hollywood. This led to many filmmakers and actors/actresses to go elsewhere.

The main problem with Hollywood was in the way it was run; it was run by Eastern European immigrants who wanted to stake their claim in the land of opportunity. They created organizations monopolizing the cinema world in America having their films spread all over the country to theaters where the actors and actresses had to comply to rules and regulations with little freedom to pursue their own endeavors. This communistic form of rule in cinema led to the anti-trust legislations which broke up the vice-grip Hollywood had over America and its cinema. Hollywood did not seem to want to become a more socially concentrated industry and continued making its rigid strict romantic melodrama films.

With this happening you also see the shift of people moving out of urban areas into the suburbs. People in America gained a new perspective and wanted safer environments for their families while gaining new concepts on leisure time.

With this new way of American life and the film industry being pounded down, you see anti-communist witch hunts starting to attack the film Industry. Then you have one of the biggest downfalls in American Cinema as well as the beginning of a new true American way of film in the late 1940’s. The “Hollywood 10” are described as the ten men who would not reveal their political situations and were thrown in jail by Congress. These ten people who were singled out were just a fraction of the true corrupt entities in Hollywood, but this low point in Hollywood also marked the moment that America took back cinema for the greater good.

Hollywood now adapted to the new age of cinema, splitting the one giant monopoly up into small scattered studios that would begin creating films of any nature that they choose.  This is where the new style of cinema, Auteur Cinema came to be, where you could see a personal artistic portrayal by different directors that could be recognized and distinguished from others.

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