Innovation Of French Cinema Essay

Submitted By michellenaranjo
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Michelle Naranjo
HONS 295
April 15, 2015
The Innovation of French Cinema
What must be understood is that cinema is a not just a picture that is in motion and has no meaning. What we are visualizing is a true medium of art. The children of these developing generations are no longer taught to appreciate cinema or how to decipher images with hidden messages according to Martin Karmitz, a French director during the seventies. The innovation that took place in cinema in the years following the German occupation of France after World War 2 changed filmmaking throughout the world in both the style and aesthetics. Focusing on the years during the German occupation, in these films the classic noir of the 1930s poetic realism of French films focused on the social environment to change the narration of events unfolding in the scenes. For example, the actions of the world around the characters shaped their development. In the latter of the occupation period, in the 1940s, films were tackling the subject of psychological realism, where the social environment did not change the character. The audience would watch a character develop as an autonomous individual. It was in the films of this period that characters were forming unique relationships in which an audience could finally see a character develop or define him or herself. One important filmmaking innovation that took place during this time in France was the invention of a boom microphone. Where in order to produce a film, multiple microphones would have to be used, the use of a single microphone allowed for a new synchronization of sound to take place in films. The successful use of multiple microphones for a scene would depend on the improvisation of the recording and the mobility of the cast and crew was limited. Introducing a single microphone would pick up all recordings evenly and clear out some of the outside noise that was there before, as well as allow for character mobility. One of the questions filmmakers were attempting to answer in post-war France was, What is Cinema? Andre Bazin was a post-war filmmaker whose films’ and other films being produced in France at this time addressed the issues that the war had left behind. One: Adapting to a contemporary society after ravishes of war. Soldiers were returning home to find that there was no home and in the years they had not returned home, society had adapted without them. Two: disgracing the female for her role during the German occupation of France while the men were on the warfront defending their country. When the men returned home from fighting they were insulted that the enemy was being taken care of by their wives, eating their food, sleeping in their beds. These films halted any sort of feminist advancement women in France could have and brought social awareness to the destruction of ear, the effects it had on its people and the ability to move on from such disaster. What is important to understand of the history that came before the creation of the “Nouvelle Vague” or the New Wave period in France was that these filmmakers, actors, directors, and critics grew up around this environment in France, therefore the ideas they would bring into their films would transcend from the past of a German and post-German France. This period began when Cinematheques began popping up around the country. These were places were people of all backgrounds could come together and openly discuss the one thing they were passionate about, cinema. Out of this developed a forum in the form of Cahier du Cinema where the discussion about film was taken out to the streets to get the debate of film going all throughout France and raise public awareness that film was not just pictures, it was an art form. An innovation at this period was the use of cinema verites, or lightweight cameras that capture reality. Used by filmmakers like Jean Rouch and Francois Truffaut innovating the idea of the “close-up” by focusing in on two