Listening to the French New Wave

The Film Music and Composers of Postwar French Art Cinema
by Orlene Denice McMahon - Sold by Dodax EU
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Orlene Denice McMahon Listening to the French New Wave
Orlene Denice McMahon - Listening to the French New Wave

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As perhaps the most studied film movement in cinematic history, the French New Wave has been analysed and criticised, romanticised and mythologised, raising the question of whether it is possible to write anything new about this period. Yet there are still gaps in the scholarship, and the study of music in New Wave films is one of the most striking.
Listening to the French New Wave offers the first detailed study of the music and composers of French New Wave cinema, arguing for the need to re-hear and thus reassess this important period in film history. Combining an ethnographic approach with textual and score-based analysis, the author challenges the idea of the New Wave as revolutionary in all its facets by revealing traditional approaches to music in many canonical New Wave films. However, musical innovation does have its place in the New Wave, particularly in the films of the marginalised Left Bank group. The author ultimately brings to light those few collaborations that engaged with the ideology of adopting contemporary music practices for a contemporary medium.
Drawing on archival material and interviews with New Wave composers, this book re-tells the story of the French New Wave from the perspective of its music.


"For film scholars and students, this volume can add a layer of nuanced sophistication to any reading of New Wave cinema"
(Kim Harrison, H-France Review, Vol.15, no.124)

"McMahon navigates her way effectively through the complex patterns of collaboration between filmmakers and composers, showing a clear grasp of the technical aspects of the process, and provides a very satisfying overview of an extremely rich period of French cinematic and musical creation."
(Peter Hawkins, French Studies, Vol. 69, no. 3, July 2015).


This book offers the first detailed study of the music and composers of French New Wave cinema, offering a new look at this popular film movement. The author challenges the view that these films were revolutionary because of their reliance on traditional approaches to music yet highlights New Wave directors who adopted contemporary music practices.


Author Orlene Denice McMahon

Product Details


GTIN 9783034317504

Release Date 21.03.2014

Language English

Pages 295

Product type Paperback

Dimension 8.86 x 5.91 x 5.91  inches

Product Weight 15.87 ounces

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