Academic Commons

Theses Doctoral

Outside the Metropolitan Frame: The Nouvelle Vague and the Foreign, 1954-1968

Astourian, Laure Maude

In Outside the Metropolitan Frame: The Nouvelle Vague and the Foreign, 1954-1968 I examine the significance of the Nouvelle Vague directors’ engagement with the world beyond metropolitan France, through formal analyses of seminal films by Jean-Luc Godard, Chris Marker, Alain Resnais, and Jean Rouch, as well as close readings of archival documents pertaining to their promotion and reception. I contend that the directors of the Nouvelle Vague were concerned with the shifts in national, transnational and colonial dynamics that marked their era. I demonstrate that their texts and films are structured by a dialectical relationship between a gaze turned outwards onto the world beyond metropolitan France, and a gaze turned inwards, onto the French. In my first three chapters, I inscribe the Nouvelle Vague in a cultural longue durée by examining its formal and thematic continuities with the tradition of French ethnography; the inter-war artistic movement, Surrealism; and the cinéma vérité documentary tradition of the early 1960s. I illustrate that the films of the Nouvelle Vague were fundamentally shaped by their directors’ engagement with the decolonization of the French empire. In my final chapter, I reexamine the most conspicuous example of foreign influence on the Nouvelle Vague, American cinema, in light of my preceding demonstrations. I determine that there are two levels of foreign influence on the Nouvelle Vague, and that the influence of American cinema was above all textual and superficial, whereas a grappling with the end of the French empire was, though far less conspicuous, fundamental to the form of the Nouvelle Vague films themselves.

Files

This item is currently under embargo. It will be available starting 2023-05-04.

More About This Work

Academic Units
French and Romance Philology
Thesis Advisors
Debaene, Vincent
Degree
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
May 4, 2016
Academic Commons provides global access to research and scholarship produced at Columbia University, Barnard College, Teachers College, Union Theological Seminary and Jewish Theological Seminary. Academic Commons is managed by the Columbia University Libraries.