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New French Extremity + Influences

By: Edwin N

“(Propaganda) proceeds by psychological manipulations, character modifications, by creation of stereotypes useful when the time comes – The two great routes that this sub-propaganda takes are the conditioned reflex and the myth”

- Jacques Ellul

French New Extremity, according to James Quandt:
“Bava as much as Bataille, Salo no less than Sade seem the determinants of a cinema suddenly determined to break every taboo, to wade in rivers of viscera and spumes of sperm, to fill each frame with flesh, nubile or gnarled, and subject it to all manner of penetration, mutilation, and defilement”

Filmmakers that participate in the French New Extremity ‘movement’:

FOUNDER – Alain Robbe-Grillet (Even though technically the New French Extremity bloomed at the end of the 90s, Robbe-Grillet remains the number one agent provocateur who introduced sleazy sex, provocative ideologies and damaging characters in French Cinema, an for that, Cahiers du Cinema’s redacteurs considered him the founder)
Claire Denis
Bertrand Bonello
Philippe Grandrieux
Olivier Assayas
Vincent Dieutre
Jacques Nolot
Christophe Honoré
Patrice Chereau
Bruno Dumont
Gaspar Noé
Virginie Despentes
Marina de Van
Pascal Laugier
Leos Carax
Catherine Breillat
Jean-Claude Brisseau
C.S. Leigh

International influential filmmakers:

Jean-Luc Godard
Pier Paolo Pasolini
Bertrand Blier
Salvador Dali and Luis Bunuel
Guys Debord
Fernando Arrabal
Yoshishige ‘Kiju’ Yoshida
Georges Franju
Michelangelo Antonioni
Jean Eustache
Alain Resnais
Stan Brakhage
Philippe Garrel
Kenneth Anger
Dario Argento
Maya Dern
Chantal Akerman
Alejandro Jodorowsky
Mario Bava
Shuji Terayama
The Quay Brothers
Nagisa Oshima
Robert Bresson
Jean Rouch
Maurice Pialat
Koji Wakamatsu
Lucio Fulci
Jesus Franco
+ Raul Ruiz’s Dog Dialogue, Paul Schrader’s Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters and Tsai-Ming Liang’s The River
Bertolucci’s Last Tango in Paris ,de Oliveira’s The Cannibals and Bergman’s Cries and Whispers

International Filmmakers Associated to the movement:

Michael Haneke
Lukas Moodysson
Lars Von Trier
Kim Ki-Duk
Matthew Barney
Fatih Akin
Patrick Chiha
Park Chan-Wook
Jan Bonny
Yorgos Lanthimos

French New Extremism – Or the crossover between sexual decadence, bestial violence and troubling psychosis.
A virulent attempt at depicting the sombre aspects of the human soul, an arresting manifesto of the dark corners of life’s ambiguity and a beautiful poem of propaganda.



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Kynodontas is greek though …. (you think it drew influence from New French extremity? hum.

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The new French extremity is not a movement, rather a pejorative label accorded to loosely connected group of contemporary film makers by the critic James Quandt. I'm sure if any one of these directors were asked if they are part of a movement they would answer no.

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    Edwin N


    well yes that's precisely why I highlighted the word 'movement'. The French New Wave was no Dogma 95 either..

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oh you did this list. aha. interesting. big fan of this wave of sorts. not sure some of the ones up there are textbook whatevers but i feel you. good list too.

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