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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : European Languages and Cultures - French

Undergraduate Course: The French New Wave (Ordinary) (ELCF09035)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 9 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course offers in-depth study of one of the most influential movements in the history of modern cinema: the French New Wave. It provides students with the opportunity to analyse a selection of iconic French New Wave films in their social and cultural contexts.
Course description One of the most celebrated movements in the history of modern cinema, the French New Wave lastingly transformed French and world cinema with its intensely creative, youthful films. This course traces the emergence of the French New Wave cinema and studies some of its most iconic works in their social and cultural contexts. Topics for discussion include the artistic doctrine and aesthetic of the Nouvelle Vague; its new production models and avant-garde cinematic techniques; the movement¿s ambivalent gender representations; its novel themes and generation of actors; its blurring between documentary and fiction. We will also address the practice of improvisation in New Wave filmmaking and assess the impact of a new generation of directors who were to embody the revolutionary spirit of the Nouvelle Vague.

No prior knowledge of film studies is needed to take this course. Seminars will be interactive, with ample opportunity for group work and discussion.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: French 2 Literature and Culture (ELCF08012) AND French 2 Language (ELCF08013)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Ordinary Students and Visiting Students only
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesIn order to be eligible to take 4th Year Options, Visiting Students should have the equivalent of at least two years of study at University level of the appropriate language(s) and culture(s).
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. To demonstrate an advanced knowledge of the French New Wave in its socio-historical and cultural contexts as well as a good understanding of the theoretical and conceptual frameworks needed to analyse films pertaining to the movement.
  2. To select and apply relevant theoretical and methodological approaches in the critical evaluation of film and to demonstrate mastery of relevant technical terminology and research methods.
  3. To assess and synthesise primary and secondary sources and to engage critically with these sources, showing awareness of nuance and accommodating ambiguities.
  4. To construct coherent arguments which engage effectively with the sources and the relevant contexts and to present them with a high level of clarity in both oral and written form.
  5. To demonstrate autonomy and initiative in their activities, carry out independent research under the guidance of the tutor, and to show awareness of their own and others¿ roles and responsibilities as part of a team.
Reading List
Films for Study
Agnès Varda, La Pointe courte (1955)
Claude Chabrol, Les Cousins (1959)
François Truffaut, Les Mistons (short; 1958); Jules et Jim (1962)
Jacques Demy, Lola (1961)
Jacques Rivette, Paris nous appartient (1960)
Jean-Luc Godard, Pierrot le fou (1965)

Secondary Reading
Austin, Guy, Claude Chabrol (Manchester: MUP, 1999)
Baeque, Antoine de, La Nouvelle Vague: portrait d'une jeunesse (Paris: Flammarion, 1998)
Baeque, Antoine de and Charles Tesson, eds., La Nouvelle Vague. Petite anthologie des Cahiers du cinéma (Paris: Cahiers du cinéma, 1999)
Bazin, André, 'La Politique des auteurs', Cahiers du cinéma, 70 (1957)
Graham Peter and Ginette Vincendeau, eds., The French New Wave: Critical Landmarks (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009)
Greene, Naomi, The French New Wave: A New Look (London: Wallflower, 2007)
Holmes Diana and Robert Ingram, François Truffaut (Manchester: MUP, 1998)
Marie, Michel, La Nouvelle Vague: Une école artistique (Paris: Nathan, 1997)
Morrey, Douglas and Alison Smith, Jacques Rivette (Manchester: MUP, 2010)
Neupert, Richard, A History of the French New Wave Cinema (University of Wisconsin Press, 2007)
Ostrovska, Dorota, Reading the French New Wave (Columbia University Press, 2008)
Sellier, Geneviève, Masculine Singular: French New Wave Cinema (Duke UP, 2008)
Smith, Alison, Agnès Varda (Manchester: MUP, 1998)
Taboulay, Camille, Le Cinéma enchanté de Jacques Demy (Paris: Cahiers du cinéma, 1996)
Truffaut, François, "Une certaine tendance du cinéma français", Cahiers du cinéma, 31 (1954), 15-29
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills By the end of the course, students will have further developed their skills in the areas of research and enquiry, personal and intellectual autonomy, communication, and personal effectiveness. For further specification of these skills see the university¿s graduate and employability skills framework at
KeywordsFrench New Wave
Course organiserProf Marion Schmid
Tel: (0131 6)50 8409
Course secretaryMrs Lina Gordyshevskaya
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