Photos de Cinéma: Images of the French New Wave

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Raymond Cauchetier
Raymond Cauchetier Raymond Cauchetier Raymond Cauchetier Raymond Cauchetier

While serving in the French Air Force’s press corps in Indochina in the early 1950s, Raymond Cauchetier began photographing his unit’s activities, and thus began his amazing career as a photojournalist. A chance meeting in 1957 at Angkor Wat with director Marcel Camus led to Cauchetier’s decade-long career detour as a set photographer.

After working on Camus’s "Mort en fraude" ("Fugitive in Saigon"), Cauchetier returned to Paris, and in 1959, he was the set photographer for “À bout de souffle” ("Breathless"), Jean-Luc Godard’s first feature film. The next year, he would shoot for Godard on "Une femme est une femme" ("A Woman Is a Woman").

French New Wave

Throughout the 1960s, Cauchetier was the favored set photographer of many directors who came to comprise the newly christened New Wave. His images, from films by François Truffaut, Jacques Demy, Claude Chabrol, Jean-Pierre Melville, Agnès Varda, Marcel Ophüls, Jacques Rozier, Claude Berri and Pierre Schoendoerffer, have been described as "central works" of the New Wave.

In 1968, Cauchetier returned to his career in journalism, but his on-set and candid shots document the birth of an artistic movement – and the emergence of a group of artists – that still impacts filmmakers today.

The Academy's exhibition was the first outside of Europe to showcase Cauchetier's motion picture work. On view were 125 newly made, black-and-white prints from Cauchetier's own 35mm negatives. The printing was personally overseen by Cauchetier, now in his 90s, at his preferred lab in Paris. Film titles represented in the exhibition included "Adieu Philippine," "Baisers volés" ("Stolen Kisses"), "Jules et Jim," "Lola" and "La peau douce" ("The Soft Skin"). Also on view were candid shots of such stars as Jean Seberg, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Anouk Aimée, Jeanne Moreau and Anna Karina, as well as photos of directors and their crews.

Learn more about Raymond Cauchetier, and see more images from his career as a photojournalist.

Check out this exclusive interview with Cauchetier from the American Society of Cinematographers to learn more about the stories behind these photos and his career.

Viewing Information

March 23, 2012 - June 24, 2012
The Academy Grand Lobby Gallery


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