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French Film Study at the BFI

Last week, nine French A level students, accompanied by Miss Lewis and language assistant Gillian Ni Cheallaigh, visited the British Film Institute for a stimulating and informative day.

The morning session took the students through key concepts and the background on the Nouvelle Vague an important period in French and world cinema which continues to have influence to this day. Students were exposed to a comprehensive range of vocabulary on film techniques, as well as common approaches and themes in New Wave film, and to illustrate these points they were shown clips from some iconic French films, including Truffaut’s Jules et Jim and Les 400 coups and Godard’s A bout de souffle.

In the afternoon, the group were treated to a viewing of Cléo de 5 à 7 by the Grand Dame of the Nouvelle Vague, Agnès Varda – recently awarded an Honorary Oscar for her service to cinema worldwide. Emanuel was well-represented, in particular by the positive and intelligent participation of lower sixth student Joséphine, who made confident contributions, both asking and answering questions throughout the day.

The French department is very much looking forward to a similarly engaging outing with Year 10 for a GCSE French Film event later in April.