History of French Cinema
Home ] Introduction ] Silent Period ] Sound ! ] WW II ] After WW II ] The New Wave ] 1968 - 1981 ] The 80's ] The 90's ] After 2000 ]

Oral Presentations Semester Schedule Syllabus Movies Directors Actors Vocabulary Discussion Questions History of French Cinema Other Resources Online Grades Cinema 2 Course

Brief History of French Cinema

Dec. 28, 1895 The world's very first movie by the Lumière brothers, shown in Paris
1896-1929 The 'Silent Period'
Impressionism: Epstein, Gance, Dreyer
Surrealism: Bunuel
1930-1939 The 'Early Classic Period' (from sound to WWII)
Poetic realism: Renoir, Carné, Vigo
1939-1945 The war years (traditional, heavily censured)
1945-1956 'Le cinéma de papa' (bourgeois, traditional)
1959-1968 1959-1964 The 'New Wave':
Chabrol, Demy, Godard, Malle, Rivette, Resnais, Rohmer, Varda, Truffaut
1968-1981 'New quality': Tavernier , Vigne
Realism: Pialat, Annaud, Blier, Leconte, Lelouch, Miller
(Ideologically) Militant cinema: Costa-Gavras, Godard
1980s 1980s Cinema of the 'look': Beineix, Besson, Carax
1980s Women's cinema: Duras, Kurys, Varda, Serreau
1980s 'Beur' cinema: Charef, Chibane [beur = backwards for 'arabe',  person born in France of North African immigrant parents]
1990s 1990s 'Heritage' ("epic" = period films with high production values):  Berri, Rappenau, Wargnier, Angelo, Leconte
1990s  Le Jeune Cinema (focus on contemporary social problems, the young, women, life in Paris suburbs and in rural communities): Kassovitz
2000-present Resurgence of popular comedies: Jeunet, Berri
2001 List of French movies released in the US in 2001
2002 List of French movies released in the US in 2002 
2003 List of French movies released in the US in 2003 
This month on TV List of French movies shown this month on American TV


Other Useful External Links related to the History of French Cinem
Film History, France http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Film%20History%2FFrance
Film History 
(all countries)

Website designed and maintained by Barbara Vigano, Prof. emeritus of French, Mt. San Antonio College