domino harvey wrote:Accepting your definition of New Wave to include Malle, his Elevator to the Gallows and Chabrol's Le Beau Serge both came before 400 Blows and Hiroshima, Mon Amour, so I'm curious as to what scholars or critics specifically are included in your claim of "critical consensus" from the past almost half-century?
Not every film by a "New Wave" director qualifies as a "New Wave" film. I don't think anybody's ever tried to co-opt Le Monde de silence
, for example. Le Beau Serge
, on the other hand, is frequently cited as the first feature of the NV, though stylistically it's pretty timid, and Elevator
has also had its strong supporters (but, getting back to my previous point, in the absense of consensus, these are always simply special-case arguments).
As for consensus, good grief, visit your local library! Here are the first three books I grabbed off my shelf, of various weights and vintages:
Cinema: A Critical Dictionary
, Richard Roud, 1980. On Resnais: "The 'New Wave' movement may not have been as strong or as unified as we once thought, but Resnais has always been part of a small group of friends, the Left Bank Group, who have pursued common goals[. . .]" - i.e. the Left Bank Group is an acknowledged subset of the NV.
Guide for the Film Fanatic
, Danny Peary, 1986. On Hiroshima
: "Alain Resnais's complex first feature, a seminal film of the French New Wave [. . .]"
French New Wave
, Jean Douchet, 1998. Resnais, Varda, Marker all classified as directors of the New Wave (cf. Malle, who is classified as "Pre-New Wave" along with Melville, Astruc, Rouch). You ought to track this down, as it goes into considerable detail about the origins of the expression "nouvelle vague", which predates almost all of the films under consideration and was not initially film-specific. Douchet persuasively traces the origins of the movement not to one or other faction, but to producer Pierre Braunberger and the Films de la Pleiade (and specifically to Coup de berger
Three strikes: you're out.
Oh, and here's a fourth which is sure to infuriate you:
Dictionary of Films
, Georges Sadoul, 1965. On La Pointe-Courte
, made in 1955 by not only a Left Banker (not rhyming slang) but a Woman (grab the smelling salts!): "This is certainly the first film of the French nouvelle vague
Which makes four documented decades of critical consensus. Case closed.