Week 1: Precursors 1: Et Dieu créa… la femme (Roger Vadim, 1956)
• Introduction to the module
• Mini-lecture: the New Wave as movement
• Group discussions: Old vs new in Et Dieu créa… la femme; Gender and stardom
• Plenary discussion
Week 2: Precursors 2: Ascenseur pour l’échafaud (Louis, Malle, 1958)
• Mini-lecture: Louis Malle and the New Wave
• Short group presentations: Narrative structure; Characterization and focalization; Post-colonialism; Urban space; Gender.
Week 3: Crest of the Wave 1: Les 400 coups (François Truffaut, 1959)
• Mini lecture: François Truffaut: ‘leader’ of the New Wave?
• Short student presentations on mise-en-scène analysis: Find and comment on examples of: bars, high angles, mirrors; Analyse the contrast between interior and exterior space in the film; Find and comment on examples of camera movement; Describe and comment in detail on Jean-Pierre Léaud’s performance style; Identify and discuss instances of non-diegetic music in the film.
Week 4: Crest of the Wave 2: Les Cousins (Claude Chabrol, 1959)
• Student research exercise and mini-lecture: Claude Chabrol
• Sequence analysis masterclass
• Short Student presentation: Gender, class and politics
Week 5: Crest of the Wave 3: À bout de souffle (Jean-Luc Godard, 1960)
• Mini-lecture and literature review: Jean-Luc Godard and À bout de souffle
• Short student sequence analyses on six sections of the film
Week 6: Reading week
Week 7: Urban space 1: Cléo de 5 à 7 (Agnès Varda, 1961)
• Mini-lecture: Agnès Varda
• Short Student presentations: Time; Mirrors and surfaces and the use of interior space; Superstition and other forms of traditional knowledge; Beauty and ugliness; Music.
Week 8: Urban space 2: Paris nous appartient (Jacques Rivette, 1961)
• Mini-lecture: Jacques Rivette and film theory in the French New Wave: What is mise-en-scène?
• Student presentations: Compile narrative evidence for and against the supposed ‘conspiracy’ in Paris nous appartient; Sound, music and atmosphere; Stairwells, doorways, corridors and landings: the spaces of Paris nous appartient.
Week 9: Music: Les Parapluies de Cherbourg (Jacques Demy, 1964)
• Mini-lecture: Jacques Demy and Les Parapluies de Cherbourg
• Student presentations: Music and genre in Les Parapluies de Cherbourg (detailed questions will be provided); Mise-en-scène and modernization (questions will also be provided).
Week 10: Conclusion: Paris vu par… (Various directors, 1965)
• Paris vu par… consists of six short films by well known and lesser known New Wave directors. This class will consist of six short student presentations, one on each of the films, as a way of re-capping some of the key themes, ideas and stylistic tendencies covered in the module. This will be followed by:
• Essay planning session.