The beauty of film is that it can serve as a mode of popular entertainment or a source of education, but today I’d like to focus on film as an art form. Looking back into film history to the time of the French New Wave and Cahiers du Cinéma, major figures like Jean-Luc Godard, Claude Chabrol, and François Truffaut were celebrated for their artistic creativity and directorial power. Nowadays Hollywood films, especially romantic comedies and action flicks, are more factory made than a craft. The mind of the auteur, or the filmmaker truly shines through in their work making each film personal and one of a kind.
WonderfulCinema.com defines art house as a film genre that encompasses films where the content and style – often artistic or experimental – adhere with as little compromise as possible to the filmmakers’ personal artistic vision. Click here to visit the top 25 art house films according to The Guardian.
François Truffaut is one of the biggest names in European art cinema and his film The 400 Blows (Les Quatre Cents Coups) was influential for its graceful free form style and content. The camerawork in the famous final scene adds depth of meaning and ends in a freeze frame that leaves a certain ambiguity to the film. It is left up to the audience to decide whether the main character Antoine has gained his freedom or simply run into another barrier. Here, is a link to this final scene but I recommend watching the whole film, its on YouTube!
Lars von Trier, director of films like Antichrist, Melancholia and Nymphomaniac, has a style that definitely does not align with the majority of basic Hollywood filmography. I have been blown away by every Trier film I’ve seen, they are different, original and will make one leave saying ‘wow.’ Here is a link to a really interesting commentary on artistic filmmaking, Treir and his film Antichrist.