La Nouvelle Vague

by nouvellevaguefr | created - 8 months ago | updated - 2 months ago | Public

Beloved art film directors, mostly French

1. Jean-Luc Godard

Director | Vivre sa vie: Film en douze tableaux

Jean-Luc Godard was born in Paris on December 3, 1930, the second of four children in a bourgeois Franco-Swiss family. His father was a doctor who owned a private clinic, and his mother came from a preeminent family of Swiss bankers. During World War II Godard became a naturalized citizen of ...

2. François Truffaut

Writer | La nuit américaine

French director François Truffaut began to assiduously go to the movies at age seven. He was also a great reader but not a good pupil. He left school at 14 and started working. In 1947, aged 15, he founded a film club and met André Bazin, a French critic, who became his protector. Bazin helped the ...

3. Agnès Varda

Director | Sans toit ni loi

Agnès Varda was born on May 30, 1928 in Brussels, Belgium as Arlette Varda. She was a director and writer, known for Vagabond (1985), Faces Places (2017) and Cleo from 5 to 7 (1962). She was married to Jacques Demy. She died on March 29, 2019 in Paris, France.

4. Jacques Rivette

Director | La Belle Noiseuse

Although François Truffaut has written that the New Wave began "thanks to Rivette," the films of this masterful French director are not well known. Rivette, like his "Cahiers du Cinéma" colleagues Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Claude Chabrol and Éric Rohmer, did graduate to filmmaking but, like Rohmer...

5. Claude Chabrol

Director | Le beau Serge

Claude Chabrol was born on June 24, 1930 in Paris, France. He was a director and writer, known for Le Beau Serge (1958), La Cérémonie (1995) and Story of Women (1988). He was married to Aurore Chabrol, Stéphane Audran and Agnès Goute. He died on September 12, 2010 in Paris.

6. Claude Sautet

Writer | Un coeur en hiver

Claude Sautet was born on February 23, 1924 in Montrouge, Seine [now Hauts-de-Seine], France as Claude Marie Sautet. He was a writer and director, known for Un Coeur en Hiver (1992), Nelly & Monsieur Arnaud (1995) and The Things of Life (1970). He was married to Graziella Sautet. He died on ...

7. Claude Lelouch

Director | Un homme et une femme

He started off by making short films for television on which he was producer,screenwriter and cameraman. This was interrupted by military service in the army but only partly as he was put into the army film unit where he made over 100 films. Demobbed in 1960 he used family money for his first ...

8. Éric Rohmer

Director | Le genou de Claire

Admirers have always had difficulty explaining Éric Rohmer's "Je ne sais quoi." Part of the challenge stems from the fact that, despite his place in French Nouvelle Vague (i.e., New Wave), his work is unlike that of his colleagues. While this may be due to the auteur's unwillingness to conform, ...

9. Louis Malle

Director | Au revoir les enfants

Louis Malle, the descendant of a French nobleman who made a fortune in beet sugar during the Napoleonic Wars, created films that explored life and its meaning. Malle's family discouraged his early interest in film but, in 1950, allowed him to enter the Institute of Advanced Cinematographic Studies ...

10. Robert Bresson

Writer | Au hasard Balthazar

Robert Bresson trained as a painter before moving into films as a screenwriter, making a short film (atypically a comedy), Public Affairs (1934) in 1934. After spending more than a year as a German POW during World War II, he made his debut with Angels of Sin (1943) in 1943. His next film, Les ...

11. Alain Resnais

Director | Hiroshima mon amour

Alain Resnais was born on June 3, 1922 in Vannes, Morbihan, France as Alain Pierre Marie Jean Georges Resnais. He was a director and editor, known for Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959), Same Old Song (1997) and My American Uncle (1980). He was married to Sabine Azéma and Florence Malraux. He died on March...

12. Jean Cocteau

Writer | La belle et la bête

Jean Cocteau was one of the most multi-talented artists of the 20th century. In addition to being a director, he was a poet, novelist, painter, playwright, set designer, and actor. He began writing at 10 and was a published poet by age 16. He collaborated with the "Russian Ballet" company of Sergei...

13. Jacques Demy

Director | Les parapluies de Cherbourg

Jacques Demy was born on June 5, 1931 in Pontchâteau, Loire-Atlantique, France. He was married to Agnès Varda. He died on October 27, 1990 in Paris, France.

14. Jean-Pierre Melville

Actor | À bout de souffle

The name "Melville" is not immediately associated with film. It conjures up images of white whales and crackbrained captains, of naysaying notaries and soup-spilling sailors. It is the countersign to a realm of men and their deeds, both heroic and villainous. It is the American novel, with its ...

15. Jacques Becker

Writer | Le trou

His interest in films was stimulated by a meeting with King Vidor, who offered him employment in the US as actor and assistant director. However, he remained in France and became assistant to Jean Renoir, a friend of the family, during that director's peak period (1932-39). In 1934 he ventured ...

16. Maurice Pialat

Director | À nos amours

Maurice Pialat was a French film director. Film critics have noted the naturalist style of his films, and their autobiographical elements.

Pialat obtained his first camera when only 16-years-old, but his early career involved creating documentary short films. His ambition was to become a painter and...

17. Henri-Georges Clouzot

Writer | Le salaire de la peur

Beginning his film career as a screenwriter, Henri-Georges Clouzot switched over to directing and in 1943 had the distinction of having his film Le Corbeau (1943) banned by both the German forces occupying France and the Free French forces fighting them, but for different reasons. He shot to ...

18. René Clément

Director | Jeux interdits

René Clément was one of the leading French directors of the post-World War II era. He directed what are regarded as some of the greatest films of the time, such as The Battle of the Rails (1946), Forbidden Games (1952) and The Day and the Hour (1963). He was later almost forgotten as a director. He...

19. Jean Eustache

Editor | La maman et la putain

Jean Eustache was born on November 30, 1938 in Pessac, Gironde, France. He was an editor and director, known for The Mother and the Whore (1973), Mes Petites Amoureuses (1974) and Les photos d'Alix (1980). He died on November 3, 1981 in Paris, France.

20. Yannick Bellon

Director | Quelque part quelqu'un

Yannick Bellon was born on April 6, 1924 in Biarritz, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, France as Marie-Annick Bellon. She was a director and writer, known for Somewhere, Someone (1972), La femme de Jean (1974) and La triche (1984). She was married to Henri Magnan. She died on June 2, 2019 in Paris, France.

21. Michel Deville

Director | Le dossier 51

Michel Deville, a singular talent in French cinema. For, except during a short period where he made two or three standard commercial films (but that was to repay the debts of his own film company, due to the defection of a business partner), Deville made pictures which, without being too elitist, ...

22. Chris Marker

Writer | Twelve Monkeys

Chris Marker was born on July 29, 1921 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Hauts-de-Seine, France as Christian François Bouche-Villeneuve. He was a director and writer, known for 12 Monkeys (1995), Sans Soleil (1983) and Third Side of the Coin (1960). He died on July 29, 2012 in Paris, France.

23. Philippe Garrel

Writer | Les amants réguliers

Philippe Garrel was born on April 6, 1948 in Paris, France. He is a writer and director, known for Regular Lovers (2005), I Can No Longer Hear the Guitar (1991) and L'enfant secret (1979).

24. Luis Buñuel

Writer | Belle de jour

The father of cinematic Surrealism and one of the most original directors in the history of the film medium, Luis Buñuel was given a strict Jesuit education (which sowed the seeds of his obsession with both religion and subversive behavior), and subsequently moved to Madrid to study at the ...

25. Alfred Hitchcock

Director | Psycho

Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was born in Leytonstone, Essex, England. He was the son of Emma Jane (Whelan; 1863 - 1942) and East End greengrocer William Hitchcock (1862 - 1914). His parents were both of half English and half Irish ancestry. He had two older siblings, William Hitchcock (born 1890) and ...

26. Joseph Losey

Director | The Servant

Belonging to an important family clan in Wisconsin, Joseph Losey studied philosophy but was always interested in theater and thus worked together with Bertolt Brecht. After directing some shorts for MGM, he made his first important film, The Boy with Green Hair (1948), for RKO. While he was filming ...

27. Lewis Gilbert

Director | Alfie

Lewis Gilbert was a British film director, producer and screenwriter best known for Alfie (1966), as well as three James Bond films: You Only Live Twice (1967), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Moonraker (1979).

He also directed Reach for the Sky (1956), Sink the Bismarck! (1960), Educating Rita (...

28. Tony Richardson

Director | A Taste of Honey

Tony Richardson was born on June 5, 1928 in Shipley, Bradford, West Yorkshire, England as Cecil Antonio Richardson. He was a director and producer, known for A Taste of Honey (1961), Tom Jones (1963) and The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962). He was married to Vanessa Redgrave. He died ...

29. Nicholas Ray

Director | Rebel Without a Cause

Nicholas Ray was born Raymond Nicholas Kienzle in 1911, in small-town Galesville, Wisconsin, to Lena (Toppen) and Raymond Joseph Kienzle, a contractor and builder. He was of German and Norwegian descent. Ray's early experience with film came with some radio broadcasting in high school. He left the ...

30. Federico Fellini

Writer | Amarcord

The women who both attracted and frightened him and an Italy dominated in his youth by Mussolini and Pope Pius XII - inspired the dreams that Fellini started recording in notebooks in the 1960s. Life and dreams were raw material for his films. His native Rimini and characters like Saraghina (the ...

31. Michelangelo Antonioni

Writer | Blowup

Michelangelo Antonioni was born in 1912 into a middle-class family and grew up in bourgeois surroundings of the Italian province. In Bologna he studied economics and commerce while he painted and also wrote criticism for a local newspaper. In 1939 he went to Rome and worked for the journal "Cinema"...

32. Luchino Visconti

Writer | Rocco e i suoi fratelli

Luchino Visconti was born on November 2, 1906 in Milan, Lombardy, Italy as Luchino Visconti di Modrone. He was a writer and director, known for Rocco and His Brothers (1960), Death in Venice (1971) and Le Notti Bianche (1957). He died on March 17, 1976 in Rome, Lazio, Italy.

33. Jacques Rozier

Director | Maine Ocean

Jacques Rozier was born on November 10, 1926 in Paris, France. He is a director and writer, known for Maine Ocean (1986), Adieu Philippine (1962) and Du côté d'Orouët (1971).

34. Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Writer | Faustrecht der Freiheit

Above all, Rainer Werner Fassbinder was a rebel whose life and art was marked by gross contradiction. Openly homosexual, he married twice; one of his wives acted in his films and the other served as his editor. Accused variously by detractors of being anticommunist, male chauvinist, antiSemitic and...

35. Wim Wenders

Director | Der Himmel über Berlin

Wim Wenders is an Oscar-nominated German filmmaker who was born Ernst Wilhelm Wenders on August 14, 1945 in Düsseldorf, which then was located in the British Occupation Zone of what became the Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Federal Republic of Germany, known colloquially as West Germany until ...

36. Michael Haneke

Writer | Caché

A true master of his craft, Michael Haneke is one of the greatest film artists working today and one who challenges his viewers each year and work goes by, with films that reflect real portions of life in realistic, disturbing and unforgettable ways. One of the most genuine filmmakers of the world ...

37. Roman Polanski

Director | Chinatown

Roman Polanski is a Polish film director, producer, writer and actor. Having made films in Poland, Britain, France and the USA, he is considered one of the few truly international filmmakers. Roman Polanski was born in Paris in 1933.

His parents returned to Poland from France in 1936, three years ...

38. Krzysztof Kieslowski

Writer | Trois couleurs: Bleu

Krzysztof Kieslowski graduated from Lódz Film School in 1969, and became a documentary, TV and feature film director and scriptwriter. Before making his first film for TV, Przejscie podziemne (1974) (The Underground Passage), he made a number of short documentaries. His next TV title, Personnel (...

39. David Lynch

Writer | Twin Peaks

Born in precisely the kind of small-town American setting so familiar from his films, David Lynch spent his childhood being shunted from one state to another as his research scientist father kept getting relocated. He attended various art schools, married Peggy Lynch and then fathered future ...

40. Jim Jarmusch

Director | Broken Flowers

Moved to New York City at the age of seventeen from Akron, Ohio. Graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in English, class of '75. Without any prior film experience, he was accepted into the Tisch School of the Arts, New York.

41. Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck

Director | Das Leben der Anderen

Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck was born on May 2, 1973 in Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany as Florian Maria Georg Christian Graf Henckel von Donnersmarck. He is a director and writer, known for The Lives of Others (2006), Never Look Away (2018) and The Tourist (2010). He is married to ...



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