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French New Wave Happy Hour Talk at COLCOA


by Marla Lewin

COLCOA’s City of Lights, City of Angels, a Week of French Film Premieres in Hollywood presented a Happy Hour Talk at the Renoir Theatre at the DGA on Friday.


It followed the international premiere and historic screening of the restored film Pierrot Le Fou, directed by Jean-Luc Godard based on a novel by Lional White, and starring Jean-Paul Belmondo,  and Godards’ once wife and muse Anna Karina.  She was to be part of the panel along with  Serge Toubiana, Cinematheque Francaise Dirctor, however both were unable to attend due to circumstances beyond their control.  As the director of the festival, Francois Truffart, said on opening night, "Nobody expected a volcano".  The discussion was about the New Wave in France and its relationship to American Cinema, a part of the COLCOA Classic Series.  


Director Monte Hellman and screenwriter Howard A. Rodman participated in the discussion, and actress Christa Fuller, shared a few memories from the audience.  Her husband Sam Fuller plays himself in the firm.  Earlier in the week another documentary, Two In The Wave, offered an in depth picture of the relationship between Truffaut and Godard.  Their films, writing and passion for film give birth to the New Wave.



Howard Rodman pointed out that Monte Hellmen's early film The Shooting, starring Jack Nicolson, as having influenced him as a writer.  That film has been called an existential Western, and a masterpiece. Monty shared how he had a great screenwriter who wrote about herself, and then the actor Millie made the character “Herself,”  Asked how they provide an intimacy in their films.  Monte said he makes movies for audiences to collaborate with.



Howard Rodman said after the World War there were groups of artists, Robert Rossilini, Andre Bazan, Rivetter, who all made films about young people, and what was going on at the time, it was a cinema of today for a new world.  Truffaut, Godard, Rohmer, Sam Fuller, Nickolas Ray, (Johnny Guitar) made movies that he could relate to, that made him want to become a writer. He said every generation needs to find a new way to express themselves.  The Last Metro, for Truffaut was quite traditional filmmaking.


Rodman said Monte's other movies also inspired him.  2 Lane Blacktop, which we saw in Cannes a few years ago played to a packed theatre, filled with famous directors all sharing how they too had been influenced by Monte’s film.


Goddard would read crime novels and then he made Fools’ Gold.  Rodman said “in the 1970’s the films of Italy, France and England would feed us, and we would feed them.”


Jacque Rivettes’ Paris Belongs to Us, had a profound effect on Monte Hellman. The way it was shot, where you could go through a door, on the other side, down a hallway. It influenced his style.


I spoke with Monte before the panel and we all expect to see each other in Cannes.  He has a new film.  We will be there watching the next wave of artists display their work, along with the great masters like Ridley Scott, Woody Allen, and Oliver Stone, to name a few.  


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About MarlaLewinGFV

Lewin Marla
(Global Film Village)

Marla is a producer, playwright, screenwriter, publicist and now a journalist. She attends 12 to 20 film festivals per year. She has spoken on filmmaking at many festivals including Cannes and SXSW.


Los Angeles

United States

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