5 Top French New Wave Movies

Jean-Paul Belmondo staring in the movie Breathless (Photo: Walter Daran/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images).
Jean-Paul Belmondo staring in the movie Breathless (Photo: Walter Daran/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images).

Hiroshima Mon Amour
Hiroshima mon amour (Hiroshima, My Love) is a 1959 French New Wave movie directed by French film director Alain Resnais, with a screenplay by Marguerite Duras. The film is the record of a personal talk between French-Japanese couple which describes atomic bombing and its terrible impact on Hiroshima. The movie is one of the major milestones in the French New Wave movement using miniature flashbacks to make a nonlinear storyline.













(Photo: Movie Poster Image Art/Getty Images)

Vivre sa vie (My Life to Live)
My Life to Live (French: Vivre sa vie) directed by Jean-Luc Godard was released in the year 1962. One of the film’s major source was a study on contemporary prostitution. The movie describes the life of a woman and the situations which forced her to work as a prostitute in 1950s. The movie was shot over the course of one month at a cost of $40,000.

Photo: Wikipedia.









Breathless (À bout de souffle)
Breathless (French: À bout de souffle) was released in 1960. The movie describes the life of a French youth who chased by the police for his criminal activities. The wandering criminal in Paris hides in his girlfriend’s apartment while police were on their job to nab him. At the end the police shoot him on the street and, after a prolonged death run, he dies out of breath. The death scene is regarded as one of the most iconic scenes in the film. Breathless was one of the earliest, most influential of French New Wave film, it received international recognition to its new style of French film making with other French New Wave movies produced earlier.

A scene from the movie Breathless (Photo: Walter Daran/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images).


Cléo from 5 to 7
Cléo from 5 to 7 (French: Cléo de 5 à 7) is a film directed by Agnès Varda which released in 1962. Giving a philosophical touch to the story, the movie talks about many themes of existentialism, morality, the idea of despair, and leading a peaceful life. The movie also discusses a strong feminine viewpoint and raises questions about how women are perceived in society, especially in France. Cléo from 5 to 7 symbolises the stereotypes that men subject women to and their oppressiveness. The main role in the movie, woman, Cléo complains that no one recognises her seriously since she’s a woman, and that the men think that she’s faking her sickness to grab the attention.

Actress Corinne Marchand on the poster for the French movie ‘Cléo de 5 à 7’ (aka ‘Cleo from 5 to 7’), 1962. (Photo: Movie Poster Image Art/Getty Images).


Céline and Julie Go Boating
Céline and Julie Go Boating (French: Céline et Julie vont en bateau) hit the screens in 1974. Directed by Jacques Rivette, the film stars Dominique Labourier as Julie and Juliet Berto as Céline. Magic is the main theme of the movie. In the initial part of the film, two women are leading relatively conventional lives, each having jobs. As the movie continues to narrate the story, the two women Céline and Julie separate from the world by leaving their jobs, moving in together, and step-by-step becoming obsessed with the mysterious and magical events in the old house. The movie opens its door to a magical world narrating mysterious events.

Photo: Wikipedia