Notes on French Cinema: The First Wave, 1915 – 1929 by Richard Abel

Notes and Quotes

The “First Avant Garde” and “Impressionist Cinema” (French 1920’s)

Appropriate labels for this era of French filmmaking??

Key filmmakers identified in this ‘wave’:

Abel Gance
Marcel L’Herbier
Louis Delluc
Germaine Dulac
Jean Epstein
Leon Poirier

These filmmakers contributed to this wave between 1919 and 1924. These films are characterised as spontaneous thoughts in animated images. (Emile Vullermoz)This time-line is suspicious due to its short time-length. There is a need to look at the surrounding time periods. Other filmmakers who come into the picture:

Dmitri Kirsanoff
Alberto Cavalcanti
Jean Renoir
Jean Gremillon
Carl Dreyer

Impressionist Cinema is a more problematic term. It refers to the pictorial, the contemporary, and the natural harmony of characters and landscapes.

“Impressionism made us see nature and its objects as elements concurrent with the action. A shadow, a light, a flower bed, above all a meaning, as the reflection of a mental state or an emotional…

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