Spiritual paths and ethical systems Part 1:
The blackout imposed by the occupying German forces meant that lights had to be turned off, a shortage of petrol kept cars off the road, while a curfew kept most people off the streets at night. During the day, numerous regulations, censorship and propaganda, made the occupation increasingly unbearable.
One of the few distractions available to the French citizens was the cinema, but the choice of what to see was limited. American films were banned, and aside from German productions which consisted mainly of imitations of Hollywood musical comedies and melodramatic propaganda movies, they only had access to the odd French films that were produced Nosferatu essay this four year period.
These films, which had to be approved by the German censor, were, with a few exceptions, pale imitations of the great French cinema of Marcel Carne, Rene Clair, Marcel Pagnol, and Jean Renoir that had come before the war. This experience of loss led them to prize freedom of expression and truth of representation above all else; values which would become central to their later work.
For a younger generation born aroundwho would later make up most of the directors of the New Wave, the cinema became the centre of their universe and a refuge from the harsh reality of the world outside. In the years that followed the Liberation, cinema become more popular than ever.
Italian and British imports were also popular. Most popular of all were the stockpile of films now streaming in from Hollywood. During the occupation the Nazis had banned the import of American films. It was a time of exciting discoveries for cine-philes eager to catch up with what had been happening in the rest of the world.
Reviews and Journals Andre Bazin The Liberation brought with it a great desire for self-expression, open communication and understanding. The discussion of film, inevitably, became part of the discourse. Bazin saw cinema as an art form, and one that deserved serious analysis.
His interest was in the language of film — favouring the discussion of form over content. Such an attitude tended to bring him into conflict with the predominantly left wing writers at the paper, who were more concerned with the political standpoint of a film. Another popular magazine amongst cinephiles was Le Revue du Cinema.
This was a publication devoted to the arts and therefore much less concerned with politics and issues of social commitment. American cinema was discussed as much as European cinema and there were in depth studies of directors like D. Film Clubs Henri Langlois The same enthusiasts who avidly read the film journals now began setting up film clubs, not just in Paris, but all over France.
The cinema, which he co-founded with Georges Franjuwas small, consisting of just 50 seats, but the programme of films shown was both comprehensive and eclectic, and it soon became a mecca for serious film enthusiasts Langlois believed the Cinematheque was a place for learning, not just watching, and he wanted his audience to really understand what they were seeing.
It became his practice to screen films on the same evening, that were different in style, genre and country of origin. Sometimes he would show foreign films without translation or silent films without musical accompaniment.
This approach, he hoped, would focus the audience attention on the techniques behind what they were watching, and the links connecting films that might otherwise appear very different. It was here, at the Cinematheque, that many of the important figures of the New Wave first met. Francois Truffautonly sixteen, was already a veteran film-goer.
From a young age, the cinemas of Paris had been his refuge from an unhappy home life. He had even set up his own cine-club, Le Cercle Cinemane, although it only lasted for one session. Jean-Luc Godard was another who immersed himself in the cine-clubs.
He was studying ethnology at the Sorbonne when he first started going to the Cinematheque, and, for him too, cinema became something of a refuge.
For true cine-philes like these, watching films was only part of the experience. They would also collect stills and posters, read and discuss the latest film articles and make lists of favourite directors. It was all a way of putting what they were watching into some kind of perspective and developing their own critical viewpoints.
Another avid member of the cine-club audience was Eric Rohmer. He had already published articles in other film journals, and now, with his two friends Jacques Rivette and Jean-Luc Godardhe set up his own review called La Gazette Du Cinema.
Although the paper only had a small circulation, it was a means by which they could express their views on some of the films they were watching. Cahiers du Cinema The most important and popular film journal of all first appeared in The first issues of the review, with its distinctive yellow cover, featured the best critics of the time writing scholarly articles about film.
However, it was with the arrival of a younger generation of critics, including RohmerGodardRivetteClaude Chabrol and Francois Truffautthat the paper really began to make waves.
Bazin had become something of a father figure to these young critics. He was especially close to Truffauthelping to secure his release from the young offenders institute where he was sent as a teenager, and later from the army prison where he was locked up for desertion. At first, Bazin and Doniol-Valcroze allowed the young cine-philes a small amount of column space to air their often combative opinions, but, in time, their articles gained more and more attention and their status rose accordingly.
One thing these young writers shared was a disdain for the mainstream "tradition de qualite", which dominated French cinema at the time. InTruffaut wrote an essay for Cahiers entitled "A Certain Tendency of the French Cinema", in which he virulently denounced this tradition of adapting safe literary works, and filming them in the studio in an old fashioned and unimaginative way.Response Essay- Nosferatu: The Film that Started It All Open Document.
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