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FRENCH NEW WAVE TOP 10 FILMS GUIDE

© 2008 Simon Hitchman

Jean Pierre LeaudJust getting started? Try our
Best French New Wave Films for Beginners.

 

or, explore all of our top 10 lists:
Categories: Director Top 10s - Actor Top 10s - Genre Top 10s - Sound, Visuals & Craft Top 10s


francois truffaut

 

TOP 10 TRUFFAUT FILMS
In his all too brief directorial career, Francois Truffaut (1932-1985) produced a remarkably varied body of work from the semi-autobiographical Antoine Doinel series to the Hitchcock inspired thrillers of the mid-60s to the later romantic period dramas. His career began with three accomplished classics – Les Quatre cents coups (The 400 Blows) and...

 

TOP 10 GODARD FILMS < 1968
In consideration of Jean-Luc Godard’s prolific output, incomparable importance, and the decisive schism in his career that occurred in 1967/68, we have drawn up two lists covering his work. The first assesses the celebrated early years when cinephiles around the world awaited each new Godard release with eager anticipation. Cool, audacious, innovative, funny, intellectual and sexy...
  Jean-Luc Godard

 

 

 

 

 

jean-luc godard

 

TOP 10 GODARD FILMS > 1968
Following the upheavals of 1968, Jean-Luc Godard threw himself into filmmaking with a renewed sense of purpose, collaborating with the ‘Dziga Vertov’ group on a series of explicitly political films, then experimenting with television and video in the mid-70s, before his triumphant return to the mainstream with "Sauve qui peut la vie" in 1979. The films and videos he has made since then are arguably ...

 

TOP 10 CHABROL FILMS
In later years, Claude Chabrol would be described as ‘the French Hitchcock’, but the comparison is simplistic. While he shares with the English ‘master of suspense’ a preference for thrillers, a preoccupation with guilt, and a predilection for black humour, a study of his films in fact reveals a cinematic vision uniquely his own. Pitched somewhere between art films and popular ...
  claude chabrol

 

 

 

 


eric rohmer

 

TOP 10 ROHMER FILMS
Few directors in the history of cinema have so closely and revealingly observed the inner psychological of their characters as Eric Rohmer. Indeed he once described himself as being “less interested in what people do, than with what is going on in their minds while they are doing it.” As a screenwriter and filmmaker he was remarkably consistent in style and theme, remaining faithful to the theoretical approach to...

 

TOP 10 RESNAIS FILMS
Alain Resnais is one of cinema’s great originals whose mastery of technique has been put at the service of some of the most thought-provoking and inspired films ever made. Influenced in his youth by comic-books and surrealism, he began his career with a series of remarkable documentaries, including most famously...
  alain resnais

 

 

 

 

 

louis malle

 

TOP 10 MALLE FILMS
Diverse is the word that springs to mind when glancing through Louis Malle’s filmography. Ranging from existential film noir (Ascenseur pour l’échafaud) to zany visual comedy (Zazie dans le Metro), big-budget costume adventure (Viva Maria!) to observational documentary (Place de la republique) – Malle’s body of work defies easy categorization. As Pauline Kael once wrote of him...

 

TOP 10 VARDA FILMS
As the leading female filmmaker associated with the French New Wave, Agnès Varda has created a body of work whose scope and significance is the equal of any of the other major figures of the movement. Early on she invented the term cinécriture (ciné-writing) to describe her work, meaning...
  agnes varda

 

 

 

 

 

jacques demy

 

TOP 10 DEMY FILMS
    1. Les Parapluies de Cherbourg (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, 1964)
    2. Lola (1961)
    3. Les Demoiselles de Rochefort (The Young Girls of Rochefort, 1967)
    4. La Baie des Anges (Bay of Angels, 1963)
    5. Une Chambre en Ville (A Room in Town, 1982)
    6. Model Shop (1969)
    7. Peau d’Âne (Donkey Skin, 1970)
    8. Parking (1985)
    9. Trois Places pour le 26 (Three Places for the 26th, 1988)
    10. Le Bel Indifférent (1957)

Jacques Demy biography - full page top 10 list coming soon!



TOP 10 RIVETTE FILMS
Jacques Rivette, the so-called ‘man in the shadows’, is, as that sobriquet suggests, probably the least well known of the leading French New Wave directors. The phrase is equally apt as a description of the director’s work, which often seems to take place in a twilight world, one step removed from...
  jacques rivette

 

 

 

 

 

jean eustache

 

TOP 10 FILMS BY LESSER KNOWN
DIRECTORS
    1. La Jetée (The Pier, 1962) - dir: Chris Marker
    2. La Maman et la Putain (The Mother and the Whore, 1973) - dir:
      Jean Eustache
    3. La Vie à l'envers (Life Upside Down, 1964) - dir: Alain Jessua
    4. Méditerranée (1963)- dir: Jean-Daniel Pollet
    5. Adieu Philippine (1963) - dir: Jacques Rozier
    6. L’Eau a la Bouche (A Game for Six Lovers, 1960) - dir: Jacques Doniol-Valcroze
    7. Le Bel Age (Love Is When You Make it, 1959) - dir: Pierre Kast
    8. Une Vie (One Life, 1958) - dir: Alexander Astruc
    9. Marie Pour Mémoire (Marie For Memory, 1967) - dir: Philippe Garrel
    10. Chronik der Anna Magdalena Bach (1968) - dirs: Jean-Marie Straub and Daniele Huillot

full page top 10 list coming soon!




emmanuelle riva

 

10 GREAT NEW WAVE PERFORMANCES
  1. Emmanuelle Riva in Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959)
  2. Jean-Pierre Leaud in Les Quatre cents coups (The 400 Blows, 1959)
  3. Charles Aznavour in Tirez sur le pianiste (Shoot the Pianist, 1960)
  4. Jeanne Moreau in Jules et Jim (1961)
  5. Delphine Seyrig in Muriel (1963)
  6. Maurice Ronet in Le Feu Follet (The Fire Within, 1963)
  7. Brigitte Bardot in Le Mepris (Contempt, 1963)
  8. Anna Karina in La Religieuse (The Nun, 1966)
  9. Michel Bouquet in La Femme Infidele (The Unfaithful Wife, 1969) and Juste avant la nuit (Just Before Nightfall, 1971)
  10. Isabelle Adjani in L’Histoire of Adèle H. (The Story of Adele H, 1975)

list chronological (for now)... full page top 10 list coming soon!

 

TOP 10 NEW WAVE SEX SYMBOLS
  1. Anna Karina in Bande a Part (Band of Outsiders, 1964)
  2. Jean-Paul Belmondo in À Bout de Soufflé (Breathless, 1960)
  3. Jean Seberg in À Bout de Soufflé (Breathless, 1960)
  4. Brigitte Bardot in Le Mepris (Contempt, 1963)
  5. Stephane Audran in Les Biches (The Does, 1968)
  6. Francois Dorleac and Catherine Deneueve in Les Demoiselles de Rochefort (The Young Girls of Rochefort, 1967)
  7. Jean-Pierre Leaud in Baiser volés (Stolen Kisses, 1968)
  8. Jeanne Moreau in Jules et Jim (Jules and Jim, 1961)
  9. Jean Louis Trintignant in Un Homme et une Femme (A Man and a Woman, 1966)
  10. Anouk Aimée in Lola (1961)

full page top 10 list coming soon!

  brigitte bardot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


truffie

 

10 BEST NEW WAVE LOVE STORIES
  1. Jules et Jim (1962) - dir: Francois Truffaut
  2. Les Parapluies de Cherbourg (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, 1964) - dir: Jacques Demy
  3. Pierrot le fou (1965) - dir: Jean-Luc Godard
  4. Le Rayon Vert (The Green Ray, 1986) - dir: Eric Rohmer
  5. Le Mépris (Contempt, 1963) - dir: Jean-Luc Godard
  6. Un Homme et une Femme (A Man and a Woman, 1966) - dir: Claude Lelouch
  7. Ma nuit chez Maud (My Night with Maud, 1969) dir: Eric Rohmer
  8. Hiroshima Mon Amour (1967) dir: Alain Resnais
  9. Les Deux Anglaises et le Continent (Two English Girls, 1971) dir: Francois Truffaut
  10. L’Eau a la Bouche (A Game for Six Lovers, 1960) dir: Jacques Doniol-Valcroze

full page top 10 list coming soon!

 

10 FUNNIEST NEW WAVE FILMS
  1. Baisers Volés (Stolen Kisses, 1968) - dir: Francois Truffaut
  2. Weekend (1967) - dir: Jean-Luc Godard
  3. La Nuit Americaine (Day For Night, 1973) - dir: Francois Truffaut
  4. L’Acrobate (The Acrobat, 1976) - dir: Jean-Daniel Pollet
  5. Le Beau Mariage (The Good Marriage, 1982) - dir: Eric Rohmer
  6. King Lear (1987) - dir:Jean-Luc Godard
  7. Conte d'Autome (Autumn Tale, 1998) - dir: Eric Rohmer
  8. Domicile Conjugal (Bed and Board, 1970) - dir: Francois Truffaut
  9. Les Contrebandiers (The Smugglers, 1967) - dir: Luc Moullet
  10. Sauve qui peut (Every Man For Himself/Slow Motion, 1979) - dir: Jean-Luc Godard

full page top 10 list coming soon!

  l'acrobat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


the beast must die chabrol

 

10 BEST NEW WAVE THRILLERS
  1. Le Boucher (The Butcher, 1969) - dir: Claude Chabrol
  2. À Bout de Souffle (Breathless, 1960) - dir: Jean-Luc Godard
  3. Le Deuxième de souffle (Second Breath, 1966) - dir: Jean-Pierre Melville
  4. Bande à part (Band of Outsiders, 1964) - dir: Jean-Luc Godard
  5. Que la Bête Meure (This Man Must Die, 1969) - dir: Claude Chabrol
  6. Le Cercle Rouge (The Red Circle, 1970) - dir: Jean-Pierre Melville
  7. Le Voleur (The Thief, 1967) - dir: Louis Malle
  8. Vivement Dimanche! (Confidentially Yours; Finally, Sunday, 1983) - dir: Francois Truffaut
  9. Made in U.S.A. (1966) - dir: Jean-Luc Godard
  10. La Cérémonie (1995) - dir: Claude Chabrol

full page top 10 list coming soon!

 

10 BEST NEW WAVE NOIR
  1. Le Samourai (1967) –  dir: Jean-Pierre Melville
  2. Juste Avant La Nuit (Just Before Nightfall, 1971) – dir: Claude Chabrol
  3. Tirez sur le Pianiste (Shoot the Piano Player, 1960) – dir: Francois Truffaut
  4. Atlantic City (1980) - dir: Louis Malle
  5. Le Doulos (The Finger Man, 1961)  dir: Jean-Pierre Melville
  6. La Femme Infidèle (The Unfaithful Wife, 1968) - dir: Claude Chabrol
  7. Alphaville (1965) - dir: Jean-Luc Godard
  8. Bob le flambeur (Bob the Gambler, 1955) dir: Jean-Pierre Melville
  9. La Mariée était en noir (The Bride Wore Black, 1967) - dir: Francois Truffaut
  10. Ascenseur pour l'échafaud (Lift to the Scaffold, 1958) - dir: Louis Malle

full page top 10 list coming soon!

  le samourai

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


truffie

 

10 STRANGEST NEW WAVE FILMS
  1. Les Yeux Sans Visage (Eyes Without a Face, 1960) - dir: Georges Franju
  2. L' Année Dernière à Marienbad (Last Year in Marienbad, 1961) - dir: Alain Resnais
  3. Céline et Julie Vont en Bateau (Celine & Julie Go Boating, 1974) - dir: Jacques Rivette
  4. Trans-Europ-Express (1966) - dir: Alain Robbe-Grillet
  5. Black Moon (1975) - dir: Louis Malle
  6. Judex (1963) - dir: Georges Franju
  7. Out 1 (1971) and Out 1:/Spectre (1972) - dir: Jacques Rivette
  8. Berceau de Cristal (1976) - dir: Philippe Garrel
  9. King Lear (1987) - dir: Jean-Luc Godard
  10. Glissemens Progressifs du Plaisir (Successive Slidings of Pleasure, 1974) - dir: Alain Robbe-Grillet

full page top 10 list coming soon!

 

10 BEST NEW WAVE DOCUMENTARIES
  1. Nuit et Brouillard (Night and Fog, 1955) - dir. Alain Resnais
  2. Le Sang des Bêtes (Blood of the Beasts, 1948) - dir. Georges Franju
  3. Phantom India (1969) - dir. Louis Malle
  4. Les Maitres Fous (The Mad Masters, 1955) - dir: Jean Rouch
  5. Sans Soleil (1983) - dir. Chris Marker
  6. Les Glaneurs et la Glaneuse (The Gleaners and I, 2000) - dir. Agnes Varda
  7. Méditerranée (1963) - dir: Jean-Daniel Pollet
  8. Général Idi Amin Dada: Autoportrait (General Idi Amin Dada: A Self Portrait, 1974) - dir. Barbet Schroeder
  9. Toute la mémoire du monde (All The World's Memory, 1956) - dir: Alain Resnais
  10. Le Joli Mai (1962) - dir. Chris Marker

full page top 10 list coming soon!

  resnais Tout le memoire du monde

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


l'armee des Ombres

 

10 BEST NEW WAVE WAR FILMS
  1. L’Armée des Ombres (Army in the Shadows, 1969) - dir: Jean-Pierre Melville
  2. Au Revoir les Enfants (Goodbye Children, 1987) - dir: Louis Malle
  3. Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959) - dir: Alain Resnais
  4. La Longue Marche (Long March, 1966) - dir: Alexandre Astruc
  5. Le Dernier Métro (The Last Metro, 1980) - dir: Francois Truffaut
  6. La Guerre est Finie (The War is Over, 1966) - dir: Alain Resnais
  7. Lacombe Lucien (1974) - dir: Louis Malle
  8. Triple Agent (2004) - dir: Alain Resnais
  9. Le Silence de la Mer (The Silence of the Sea, 1947) - dir: Jean-Pierre Melville
  10. Les Carabiniers (The Riflemen, 1963) - Jean-Luc Godard

full page top 10 list coming soon!

 

10 FILMS THAT INFLUENCED THE NEW WAVE
  1. Sunrise (1927) - dir: F.W. Murnau
  2. The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933) - dir: Fritz Lang
  3. L’Atalante (1934) - dir: Jean Vigo
  4. Le Regle du Jeu (The Rules of the Game, 1939) - dir: Jean Renoir
  5. Le Corbeau (The Raven, 1943) - dir: Henri-Georges Clouzot
  6. Les Enfants Terribles (The Horrible Children, 1950) - dir: Jean-Pierre Melville
  7. Rear Window (1954) - dir: Alfred Hitchcock
  8. Viaggio in Italia (Journey to Italy, 1954) - dir: Roberto Rossellini
  9. Johnny Guitar (1954) - dir: Nicholas Ray
  10. Touch of Evil (1958) - dir: Orson Welles

full page top 10 list coming soon!

  sunrise

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


george delerue

 

10 BEST NEW WAVE SOUNDTRACKS
  1. Le Mepris (Contempt, 1963) composer: Georges Delerue
  2. Les Parapluies de Cherbourg (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, 1964) composer: Michel Legrand
  3. Ascenseur pour l’echafaud (Lift to the Scaffold, 1958) composer: Miles Davis
  4. Le Boucher (The Butcher, 1970) composer: Pierre Jansen
  5. Pierrot Le Fou (1965) composer: Georges Delerue
  6. A Bout de souffle (Breathless, 1960) composer: Martial Solal
  7. Jules and Jim (1962) composer: Georges Delerue
  8. Les Demoiselles de Rochefort (The Young Girls of Rochefort, 1967) composer: Michel Legrand
  9. Les Biches (The Does, 1968) composer: Pierre Jansen
  10. La Nuit Américaine (Day for Night, 1973) composer: Georges Delerue

full page top 10 list coming soon!



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