It was 1946 when the World War II ended and the Nazi censorship in France was abolished by the foreign films flooding the French Cinema. It was the time when filmmakers like Alfred Hitchcock, John Ford, and Orson Welles became the inspirations of emerging French cinephiles. The wave of considering filmmakers as artists who churn their finest art on the canvas of film was made locally by the French Cinema magazines.
As film critic Alexandre Astruc in his essay “The Birth of a New Avant-Garde” mentions a “camera pen” like a paintbrush used by a filmmaker to create an art, the vision of a new cinephile wave became very clear in France. With the writing of ‘Auteur Theory’ (politique des auteurs) by filmmakers like Truffaut and Godard laid the foundations of the ‘French New Wave of Cinema’. But it was the era of the 50s when these writers (Truffaut and Godard) along with filmmakers like Eric Rohmer and Chabrol became the major source of influence for the movement.
Filmmaking techniques by the new wave pioneers have influenced directors for decades. Godard’s special use of jump cuts delayed successive cuts, or long takes and special care of mise-en-scene filled the films with a wealth of information. The respect for realism and filming on locations later became the most important foundations of the French New Wave which till date is considered the most idealistic for cinema.
It is not a piece of new information that how ‘The 400 Blows’ by Francois Truffaut and ‘Breathless’ by Jean-Luc Godard made with the jazzy, improvisatory, and revolutionary style opened the doors for new filmmakers to experiment with their content. The Post World War era, where most of the countries were suffering a huge financial crisis, the French New Wave enlightened the filmmakers by breaking the story-bound principles and making remarkable low-budget independent films.