The French New Wave blew a hurricane gale of fresh air into the stultified, hierarchical conventions of late-'50s world cinema, which continues to fill the sails of young filmmakers to this day. We all know — or think we know — the hallmarks of the nouvelle vague: sexy, street-smart scenarios infused with breezy romanticism and fatalistic existentialism, played out in actual urban locations. (It’s funny, and sad, how a defiantly personal cinema becomes codified into a formula after enough generations.) What’s often forgotten, though, is that Jean-Luc Godard, Claude Chabrol, and their peers didn’t just reject French classicism, but embraced American pulp fiction. Instead of Honoré de Balzac, Victor Hugo, and Émile Zola, they adapted Cornell Woolrich... More >>>