Saved events

Press room

After the Wave: Young French Cinema in the 1970s

LouLou image

6 Jun – 25 July 2019

After the Wave: Young French Cinema in the 1970s – running throughout June and July – showcases the films of the younger, radical generation of directors who emerged in the wake of the New Wave and of the events of May ’68.

Thematically and stylistically there are affinities with the work of earlier directors including François Truffaut and Éric Rohmer; the films in this season are more naturalistic, often autobiographical, interested in the complexities of love and intimate relationships, and with a focus on the lives of young people.

The 1970s brought a new frankness about sex, an interest in the cultural fall-out of May ’68, and, above all, a foregrounding of regional, working-class and female protagonists.

The season highlights women who were breaking into the industry in larger numbers and beginning to make films, including Chantal Akerman’s stunning feature debut Je, Tu, Il, Elle, which she made at just 23, dealing  with themes of intimacy, desire, longing and alienation. Desire is also central theme of Catherine Breillat’s visceral debut A Real Young Girl, in which she rips apart conventional images of adolescent girlhood and portrays a raw and honest account of female sexuality. Other work by women directors includes Peppermint Soda, by the then-unknown 29-year-old Diane Kurys, which was a triumphant success and France’s highest-grossing film in 1977 and winner of the Prix Louis Delluc for Best Film.

Further highlights include Jacque Doillon’s Touched in the Head, a charming film that follows the fortunes of a young baker’s apprentice as he navigates a bitter work dispute and an awkward love triangle; and Loulou featuring a young Gerard Depardieu and Isabelle Huppert, who burn up the screen in a story of class-and-culture-defying passion from filmmaker Maurice Pialat, who, himself, was the son of a lorry driver, and made films grounded in a working-class reality. The season also features films from Philippe Garrel, Jean Eustache and Alain Tanner.

Tamara Anderson, Season Curator says:

The filmmakers in our season have been cited as favourites of, and key influences on, a host of contemporary directors, from Claire Denis to Mia Hansen-Løve, Jim Jarmusch and Wes Anderson. Historically, though, the achievements of this brilliant generation have been somewhat overlooked, at least outside of France. This season provides a taste of their work.”