Breathless
Films of the French New Wave
140D :  French Literature in English translation
Fall 2020
Class No: 33714
remote, synchronous
TuTh
N. Paige
9:30-11

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, Maker, and others. All films will be available for streaming.

Prerequisites:

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.