Six short movies by six directors soon to be very famous. Six visions of Paris by Jean Daniel Pollet, Jean Luc Godard, Jean Rouch, Eric Rohmer, Jean Douchet and Claude Chabrol.
Jean Rouch (Paris – 31 May 1917, Niger – 18 February 2004) was a French filmmaker and anthropologist.
At their best his films are about peak experiences and are densely packed with detail. They show individuals who display a creative spirit, a wholeness and excitement which are rare in any cinema and virtually unique in ethnographic films. Moreover they are not just about “primitive peoples” but also depict his own culture and always they are concerned with dynamic situations of culture change.
He is considered to be one of the founders of the cinéma vérité in France, sharing the aesthetics of the direct cinema in the US pionered by Richard Leacock, D.A. Pennebaker and Albert and David Maysles. Rouch’s practice as a filmmaker for over sixty years in Africa, was characterized by the idea of shared anthropology. Influenced by his discovery of surrealism in his early twenties, many of his films blur the line between fiction and documentary, creating a new style of ethnofiction… read more
Jean-Daniel Pollet (1936-2004) is a French film director and screenwriter who was most active in the 1960s and 1970s. He was associated with two approaches to filmmaking: comedies which blended burlesque and melancholic elements, and poetic films based on texts by writers such as the French poet Francis Ponge.
Pollet was born on 20 June 1936 in La Madeleine, Nord, in France. His film career started in 1958, when he did a short film set in Paris called Pourvu qu’on ait l’ivresse…, in which Pollet filmed the movements of dancers’ silhouettes. Pollet built on the images and themes from this first film in many of his later works, by incorporating elements of popular comedies imbued with both burlesque and melancholic elements. In the early 1960s, Pollet began exploring another approach to filmmaking with the film Méditerranée, which he made over two years with Volker Schlöndorff. Pollet tried to create a form of poetic film, using texts and commentaries by writers such as Philippe… read more
The most subtle and traditional of the many luminaries launched to prominence as a member of the French New Wave, Eric Rohmer is also among the movement’s most consistent and enduring talents. Basing his work upon antecedents in literature as much as those in the cinema, Rohmer made his name crafting talky, feather-light romantic comedies and chamber dramas distinguished by economical camerawork, a warmly ironic tone, an affection for youth, and a fascination with place and time. His intensely personal private life — according to legend, not even his own mother knew he was an internationally acclaimed, albeit pseudonymously named, filmmaker — has stood in direct contrast to the emotional openness of his movies, which, in intimate and illuminating detail, explore the limitless entanglements, disappointments, and possibilities facing contemporary relationships.
Born Jean-Marie Maurice Scherer on December 1, 1920, in Nancy, France, Rohmer later relocated to Paris, where he worked variously… read more
The lynchpin of the French New Wave, Jean-Luc Godard was arguably the most influential filmmaker of the postwar era. Beginning with his groundbreaking 1959 feature debut A Bout de Souffle, Godard revolutionized the motion picture form, freeing the medium from the shackles of its long-accepted cinematic language by rewriting the rules of narrative, continuity, sound, and camera work. Later in his career, he also challenged the common means of feature production, distribution, and exhibition, all in an effort to subvert the conventions of the Hollywood formula to create a new kind of film.
Godard was born in Paris on December 3, 1930, the second of four children. After receiving his primary education in Nyon, Switzerland – during World War II, he became a naturalized Swiss citizen – he studied ethnology at the Sorbonne, but spent the vast majority of his days at the Cine-Club du Quartier Latin, where he first met fellow film fanatics Francois Truffaut and Jacques Rivette. In May… read more
Widely credited as the founding father of the French Nouvelle Vague movement, Claude Chabrol is responsible for a body of work that is as prolific as it is boldly defined. A master of the suspense thriller, Chabrol approaches his subjects with a cold, distanced objectivity that has led at least one critic to liken him to a compassionate but unsentimental god viewing the foibles and follies of his creations. Inherent in all of Chabrol’s thrillers is the observation of the clash between bourgeois value and barely-contained, oftentimes violent passion. This clash gives the director’s work a melodramatic quality that has allowed him to drift between the realm of the art film and that of popular entertainment.
Born in Paris on June 24, 1930, Chabrol was educated at the University of Paris, where he was a pharmacology student, and at the Ecole Libre des Sciences Politiques. Following some military service, he developed an interest in the cinema and worked for a brief time in the publicity… read more