I started to really get into cinema when I was at university after first watching a couple of Martin Scorsese’s early movies. I was dumbstruck by the guerrilla style of Mean Streets and easy flow and strange editing of Taxi Driver as well as the way that both movies captured a time and place which although I’d never personally experienced, felt familiar. In the near decade since then I’ve expanded my cinematic experiences and ventured down many genre avenues, finding much that to like. It’s taken me to my late twenties though to venture towards The French New Wave, a period and collection of film makers who inspired those early Scorsese pictures perhaps more than anything else.
Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless or À bout de souffle in its native France is one of the most famous examples of the New Wave films which steamed across the Atlantic in the late 1950s and into the 60s, influencing the next generation of American directors. The influence follows a similar pattern to British rock music of the period as Godard and his compatriots François Truffaut, Éric Rohmer and others were themselves being influenced by what they saw in American cinema. It’s almost as though the French put their own spin on what they saw in Hollywood and then this was subsequently appropriated and re-Americanised by ‘movie brats’ of the 70s.