Films of the French New Wave
140D :  French Literature in English translation
Fall 2020
Class No: 33714
remote, synchronous
N. Paige

This course will introduce students to a number of classic films of the French New Wave, perhaps the most important and emblematic moment in modern cinema, and still a point of reference for filmmakers ranging from Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese to Alfonso Cuarón and Wong Kar-Wai.  Along the way, we will look at the theoretical and cultural factors that help explain this extraordinary flowering of filmmaking talent in the late 1950s and early 1960s; and we will also be reading some important short essays from the period that will help bring the films’ originality into focus.

General points to be explored include: France and American popular culture; post-war economic transformations and consumerism; changing norms of sex and gender; the documentary image; the subversion and pastiche of genre; the ideology of form. Movies studied will include works by Truffaut, Godard, Varda, Demy, Rohmer, Marker, and others. All films will be available for streaming.


Knowledge of French not required.  Taught in English.  Films in French with English subtitles

Additional Information:

This course satisfies 1 “Literary/Genre” or 1  “Elective” course requirement in the French major.  Satisfies 1 course requirement in French minor with approval.