New Wave: cinematographic new tendencies in the Soviet Union, France and the United States during the 1950s and 1960s
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During the 1950s and the 1960s, independent movies breaking with the conventional characteristics of the mainstream cinema of their time were produced in the Soviet Union, France and the United States. They revealed the parallel emergence of cinematographic new tendencies in a world marked by the ideological division of the Cold War. While scholar literature often emphasizes the ideological confrontation performed on the screens or analyzes the cinematographic New Wave from a national perspective, I offer to study in this essay the striking similarities that exist between the New Wave movies of the three countries considered. Using four criteria (aesthetics, narrative, characters and themes), I show that the New Wave movies express the concerns of post-war generation in opposition to the official positivism and optimism dictated by the authorities, focus on the individual and not on the collective group, and praise the respect of human values while distrusting the current ideologies. The analysis of the intellectual, social and political context of the three countries helps to explain the emergence of these similar trends. Thus I contend that this essay contributes to overcome the binary division of the Cold War world and to emphasize the cultural similarities through the example of three countries.