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The French New Wave vs YouTube

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(music) Hello, Internet friends! Hey, how's it going, bros? Hello, this is GloZell. Is you ok? Is you good? 'Cause I wanted to know Ok, if you’re a film snob this might not be for you. But if you’re a YouTuber, this should be a call to arms. We’re going to compare the French New Wave to what’s happening on YouTube. Now that everyone can film themselves talking, isn’t it time for all of this to evolve? Coming out of the film journal “Cahiers du Cinema” critics and writers like Francois Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard had grown up with film in sort of the same way today’s YouTubers grew up with new media. It was everywhere and it was exciting. With the release of cheaper and more portable cameras like the Arriflex and the Eclair NPR, filmmakers could do more than ever before. In a time when the average cost of a film was just around three-hundred-thousand-dollars, directors like Agnes Varda were producing films for a fraction of that cost. Earlier critics and theorists like Andre Bazin and Alexandre Astruc said things like, “The filmmaker is at last equal to the novelist” or “The cinema of today is capable of expressing any kind of reality.” To them, newer and easier technology allowed directors to experiment and get further away from what they called their their father's or grandfather’s cinema. Eventually some of those critics became directors themselves and the result was a torrent of films, each one made with an incredibly personal voice and style. Casey: Gear doesn't matter. Let me explain: Narrator: With film making technology now accessible to nearly anyone with a smartphone, we too have seen an explosion of content on YouTube and new media. And like the French New Wave directors, YouTubers and New Media creators also experiment with form, often yielding similar stylistic results like jump cutting, and camera movements. So what is keeping all of this new content from becoming a fully realized movement? The directors of the French New Wave were compelled by a quest for truth and reality through cinematic form. They gave us things like Cinema Verité, whose offspring could be seen as the vlog, but what exactly motivates something like the vlog? Sure, we get a dose of reality, but do things such as likes, comments, and views fully justify why that type of content is being made? Let’s really think about this “The film-maker writes with his camera as a writer writes with his pen. … to evolve a philosophy of life …" What distinguishes a film movement from mere experimentation are the theories and philosophies created by and from that experimentation. Yes, the French New Wave directors were experimenting, and even if it seemed like they were pulling stuff out of their derrieres, at least they were taking bold risks based on their philosophical outlook towards cinema. And it wasn’t just movies they studied. It was other art forms, books, and politics. Breathless broke the fourth wall to show us how film as a mass media was changing our everyday lives. Jules and Jim challenged relationship norms and revealed social upheaval in the early 20th century. Cleo From 5 to 7 dealt with mortality, feminism, and the French War in Algeria. Their experiments were pointing to a bigger picture, the undeniable truths of their times. Now, not every YouTube/New Media video has to make a bold social or political statement, and to be fair, not every film from the French New Wave actually does this either. And it’s not to say that there aren’t some interesting voices out there that are perhaps championing the dawn of a new era of independent television. But why haven’t more of these types of projects served as a jumping off point for a really bold artistic movement in New Media? Maybe we’re in an era deafened by experimentation, and unmoved with the lack of philosophical conviction? There’s certainly self promotion and money to be made with new media. And if that’s your thing, no one’s trying to stop you, everybody’s gotta eat. And a lot of people point to YouTube’s ability to convey authenticity. But how many of us have actually considered what authenticity means or why it’s important? Because now that making a film really is as easy as point and shoot, there might be more time... to think.

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Duration: 5 minutes and 41 seconds
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Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
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Posted by: watchmeetmake on Sep 28, 2016

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Get off your high horse, because today we're going to compare the French New Wave – one of the most influential film movements of all time – to YouTube. Yes, seriously.

Check out our profiles on influential French New Wave filmmakers, actors, movies and critics below:

François Truffaut: http://watchmeetmake.com/meet/francois-truffaut/
Jean-Luc Godard: http://watchmeetmake.com/meet/jean-luc-godard/
Agnès Varda: http://watchmeetmake.com/meet/agnes-varda/
Oskar Werner: http://watchmeetmake.com/meet/oskar-werner-2/
Cahiers du Cinema: http://watchmeetmake.com/meet/cahiers-du-cinema/
Jules and Jim (1962): http://watchmeetmake.com/watch/jules-and-jim/
Breathless (1960): http://watchmeetmake.com/watch/breathless/

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