Modernism and the Nouvelle Vague…

To ponder…

The French New Wave is to cinema what the Modernist Novel is to fiction.

“In the novel, writers like Virginia Woolf and James Joyce tried to evoke ‘inner speech’ or ‘stream of consciousness,’ through associative and fragmented forms, omitting verbs, pronouns, connectives, and articles, and leaving sentences uncompleted. A number of filmmakers, interestingly, have shown interest in cinematically rendering inner speech. [Literary theorist and linguist Mikhail] Bakhtin’s contemporary [filmmaker and film theorist Sergei] Eisenstein repeatedly expressed a desire to render the stream-of-consciousness monologues of Joyce’s Ulysses, and [New Wave director and film critic Jean-Luc] Godard, in both Une femme mariée (1964) and Two or Three Things I Know About Her (1967), approximates inner speech through discontinuous and fragmentary voice-over commentaries” (Robert Stam, “The Theory and Practice of Adaptation,” 2005).

Modernism and post-modernism hit film nearly the same time, in the 1960s-1970s. Golden-Age-Hollywood-era film (1930s-1950s) is equivalent to 19th-century fiction. Modernism in fiction hit in the 1920s, but was disrupted by WWII and post-war concerns, resurfacing as post-modernism in the 1960s. Postmodernism in literature is not a reaction against modernism, but a continuation and extension of it.