French New Wave Shorts

French New Wave Shorts

25 Episodes

There was cinema before the French New Wave, and there was cinema after. The explosion of creative innovation that emanated from France in the late 1950s and early ’60s forever altered the course of film history by opening up new avenues of stylistic experimentation and trumpeting the concept of the “auteur” director, whose aesthetic vision and thematic obsessions took center stage. Featuring early works and rarities by Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut, Agnès Varda, Jacques Demy, Jacques Rivette, and Éric Rohmer, this selection of nouvelle vague shorts charts the evolution of a movement that rewrote the rules of cinema by liberating it from commercial demands and reclaiming it in the name of unfettered personal expression.

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French New Wave Shorts
  • Presentation, or Charlotte and Her Steak

    Episode 1

    Directed by Eric Rohmer • 1951 • France

    Walter and Charlotte are a young couple who engage in an awkward conversation before Charlotte is set to take a train out of town.

  • Les horizons morts

    Episode 2

    Directed by Jacques Demy • 1951 • France

    Jacques Demy makes a rare on-screen appearance as the star of LES HORIZONS MORTS (“The Dead Horizons”), his debut dramatic short from 1951, about a young man suffering from a broken heart.

  • Crazeologie

    Episode 3

    Directed by Louis Malle • 1954 • France

    In 1954, Louis Malle was a film student at the Institut des hautes études cinématographiques (IDHEC) in Paris, where he shot this rarely seen short, CRAZEOLOGIE. Inspired by the theater of the absurd of such playwrights as Samuel Beckett and Eugène Iones...

  • Le coup du berger

    Episode 4

    Directed by Jacques Rivette • 1956 • France

    Just before embarking on PARIS BELONGS TO US, Jacques Rivette directed the following 1956 short film about an adulterous wife and her lover’s attempt to figure out how she will explain his gift of a mink coat. Cowritten by fellow French New Wave lumina...

  • Le sabotier du Val de Loire

    Episode 5

    Directed by Jacques Demy • 1956 • France

    This 1956 short film by Jacques Demy documents a week in the life of a clog maker in the Loire Valley.

  • All the Boys Are Called Patrick

    Episode 6

    Directed by Jean-Luc Godard • 1957 • France

    A man makes dates with two women on the same day without realizing that they are best friends.

  • Une histoire d'eau

    Episode 7

    Directed by Jean-Luc Godard and François Truffaut • 1958 • France

    In this short film, a young woman tries to go to Paris, but her garden and the whole village is flooded with water.

  • Véronique and Her Dunce

    Episode 8

    Directed by Eric Rohmer • 1958 • France

    In this short film from director Eric Rohmer, Véronique tutors a perplexing young boy.

  • Du côté de la côte

    Episode 9

    Directed by Agnès Varda • 1958 • France

    As if you need any more reasons to visit the beautiful south of France, Agnès Varda celebrates the splendor of this area in a short documentary funded by the French Tourism Office. In this cheeky little film, Varda highlights the importance of tourism to...

  • L’opéra-mouffe

    Episode 10

    Directed by Agnès Varda • 1958 • France

    Pregnant with her first child, director Agnès Varda turned her camera to her immediate surroundings capturing day-to-day life along the Rue Mouffetard. Lacking synch sound and incorporating a number of unconventional techniques, this short work displays Va...

  • Ô saisons, ô châteaux

    Episode 11

    Directed by Agnès Varda • 1958 • France
    Starring Danièle Delorme

    Made early in Agnès Varda’s career, this lushly shot Eastmancolor short was commissioned by the national tourism board to promote the medieval castles of the Loire Valley region. It deviates from the standard travelogue format by m...

  • Ars
    Episode 12


    Episode 12

    Directed by Jacques Demy • 1959 • France

    The following 1959 short by Jacques Demy tells the story of Jean-Marie Baptiste Vianney, the strict and pious pastor of the village of Ars.

  • Charlotte et son Jules

    Episode 13

    Directed by Jean-Luc Godard • 1959 • France

    A jilted man rants at his mostly silent former lover.

  • Antoine and Colette

    Episode 14

    Directed by François Truffaut • 1962 • France

    This short film is the first segment of five in the multinational feature Love at Twenty (1962), all five segments on the theme of first adult love. After indulging in much delinquency in his youth, seventeen-year-old Antoine Doinel, having been prov...

  • Les fiancés du pont Macdonald

    Episode 15

    Directed by Agnès Varda • 1962 • France

    Directed by Agnès Varda for her film CLÉO FROM 5 TO 7, this short film stars her French new wave colleagues Jean-Luc Godard, Anna Karina, Sami Frey, and Eddie Constantine.

  • La luxure

    Episode 16

    Directed by Jacques Demy • 1962 • France

    Jacques Demy based this 1962 short, made for the omnibus feature THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS, on his memories of growing up in Nantes.

  • La Jetée

    Episode 17

    Directed by Chris Marker • 1963 • France

    Chris Marker, filmmaker, poet, novelist, photographer, editor, and now videographer and digital multimedia artist, has been challenging moviegoers, philosophers, and himself for years with his complex queries about time, memory, and the rapid advancement ...

  • The Bakery Girl of Monceau

    Episode 18

    Directed by Eric Rohmer • 1963 • France
    Starring Barbet Schroeder, Michèle Girardon, Claudine Soubrier

    Delicate and jazzy, THE BAKERY GIRL OF MONCEAU, the first entry in the Six Moral Tales series, evinces stirrings of what would become the Eric Rohmer style: unfussy naturalistic shooting, ironi...

  • Nadja in Paris

    Episode 19

    Directed by Eric Rohmer • 1964 • France

    A university student wanders around Paris in this short film by Eric Rohmer.

  • Salut les Cubains

    Episode 20

    Directed by Agnès Varda • 1964 • France
    Starring Michel Piccoli

    Agnès Varda constructed this invigorating travelogue from over four hundred still photographs taken during a trip to Cuba in the wake of its 1959 revolution. Through fluid montage, the people captured by her camera come to playful, ...

  • A Modern Coed

    Episode 21

    Directed by Eric Rohmer • 1966 • France

    An examination of the lifestyles of female college students in 1966. Directed by Eric Rohmer.

  • Uncle Yanco

    Episode 22

    Directed by Agnès Varda • 1968 • France

    In her effervescent first California film, Agnès Varda delves into her own family history. The short documentary UNCLE YANCO features Varda tracking down a Greek emigrant relative she’s never met, discovering an artist and kindred soul leading a bohemian l...

  • Black Panthers

    Episode 23

    Directed by Agnès Varda • 1970 • United States

    Agnès Varda turns her camera on an Oakland demonstration against the imprisonment of activist and Black Panthers cofounder Huey P. Newton. In addition to evincing Varda’s fascination with her adopted surroundings and her empathy, this perceptive sho...

  • Réponse de femmes

    Episode 24

    Directed by Agnès Varda • 1975 • France
    Starring Agnès Varda

    This 1975 short film by Agnès Varda was commissioned by the French television channel Antenne 2, which asked seven female filmmakers each to make a film in response to the question “What is a woman?”