Resonant Wandering Forms: Tracing the Trajectories of the Cinemas of Jean-Luc Godard, Éric Rohmer and Jacques Rivette

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2021

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My dissertation contends that Éric Rohmer, Jean-Luc Godard and Jacques Rivette – three filmmakers associated with the Nouvelle Vague – conceived and staged wandering in order to change cinema, to probe deeper into its potential as a medium of feeling and thought. As they honed their aesthetics, Godard, Rohmer and Rivette charged their oeuvres with what I have qualified as crucial wandering forms. The wandering in their films quickly diverged from direct movement on screen and became progressively more complex and abstract. I thus investigate wandering as a form of expression in cinema, one that allows us to reconsider the work of each filmmaker. The choice of this trio is crucial to analyzing certain subtleties in their oeuvres that require more investigation. The forms I have conceived reveal conceptual affinities between the seemingly disparate ideas operating and evolving amongst their cinemas. My dissertation therefore offers novel opportunities to reconfigure the Nouvelle Vague by disentangling essential aesthetic, political and historical threads that link the work of the three filmmakers beyond the early 1960s, when the movement often is said to have ended. By defining new formal categories, I propose that their films contain a latent prolongation of the Nouvelle Vague’s wandering core.

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Maxymuk, Kathleen (2021). Resonant Wandering Forms: Tracing the Trajectories of the Cinemas of Jean-Luc Godard, Éric Rohmer and Jacques Rivette. Dissertation, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/22969.

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