Beginning in the late 1950s with a group of cinema critics from the French journal Cahiers du Cinéma, the French New Wave became one of the most significant and influential film trends of the 20th century. All preconceived notions and conventions of cinema that had been formed over the course of the previous 50 years were abandoned by the French New Wave. Some of the most important French New Wave films from the past have recently been added to The Criterion Channel. The channel is now streaming them. Look over the list below.

1. Elevator To The Gallows (1958)

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Director- Louis Malle

The lonesome secret lovers, square-jawed ex-Foreign Legion paratrooper Julien Tavernier and the sad-eyed Florence Carala, exchange vows of enduring love and loyalty over the phone after having previously come up with a bold plan. Simon Carala, Florence’s industrialist husband and Tavernier’s boss, is the target of Florence and Julien’s desperate attempt to slay him. Despite their meticulous planning, however, incriminating evidence left behind serves as a painful reminder that no crime is ever completely successful. What began as a final desperate attempt to start over and leave everything behind has now, against the backdrop of a rain-soaked Parisian Saturday, set off a series of events with unanticipated consequences.

2. Le Beau Serge (1958)

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Director- Claude Chabrol

As part of his tuberculosis treatment, François Baillou visits his village in France and spends the winter there. When Serge arrives, François recognises him and greets him, but Serge is inebriated and doesn’t know who he is. When Serge had to wed his pregnant fiancée Yvonne, François discovered that he was a disappointed man who had not attended the architecture school and had remained in the hamlet working as a truck driver. The infant was mongoloid at birth and passed away. Serge is currently the village’s drunkard. When François meets Marie, the village slut who is 17 years old, he is attracted to the young woman. He works to support his friend in the meanwhile.

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3. Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959)

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Director- Alain Resnais

A young French actress is in Hiroshima on assignment to make her film debut in an anti-war movie, and while there she has a brief but intense romance with a local Japanese architect. However, during the few time she has left in Hiroshima, the ephemeral lovers’ conversations and memories become agonising flashbacks of her early love affair in her home Nevers, which are inextricably entwined with the eerie memory of that terrible time in history. The morning will soon arrive, and all that will be left will be the yearning for an unattainable love.

4. The 400 Blows (1959)

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Director- François Truffaut

Antoine Doinel, 14, seems to be in trouble all the time at school and comes home each day to a depressing, sad home life. He sleeps on a couch that has been moved into the kitchen because his parents don’t have much money. Antoine is aware of his mother’s affair and the continual fighting between his parents. He makes the decision to skip school and starts a downward spiral of deception and stealing. After being stopped by the police, his parents, who are at their wits’ end, feel that letting Antoine deal with the repercussions would be the wisest course of action. He is transferred to a juvenile correctional centre, where he struggles even more. However, he is able to get away.

5. Breathless (1960)

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Director- Jean-Luc Godard

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Unrestrained psychopath and occasional burglar Michel Poiccard steals a car and then brutally kills the motorcycle cop who is chasing him. Now that he is wanted by the law, Patricia Franchini, a stylish American woman studying journalism at the Sorbonne whom he had met in Nice a few weeks ago, becomes his new significant other. He expects her to travel with him on his intended escape to Italy, and before leaving Paris, he aims to collect a loan from an underworld associate. While foolishly pursuing his love of American movies and libidinous interest in the attractive American, Poiccard appears unaware of the dragnet that is gradually closing in on him, despite the fact that his face is frequently featured in local newspapers and media.

6. Céline and Julie Go Boating (1974)

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Director- Jacques Rivette

Julie is compelled to go behind Celine as she carelessly drops items along the way as she strolls through a park in Paris, picking up each one as she goes. So begins their whimsical romance, in which Celine eventually moves into Julie’s apartment and the two of them playfully trade identities during the day. They find themselves attempting to rescue a young girl from a purportedly haunted house as they indulge their fantasies more and more.

7. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964)

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Director- Jacques Demy

Genevieve, age 16, and Guy, age 20, are much in love. Since Guy hasn’t finish his require military service, her kindly mother, who owns an umbrella store, will not approve of her getting marry. When he leaves for his army duty in colonial Algeria, Genevieve gets devastate. She is also miffed that she hasn’t heard from him in two months. Roland Cassard, a compassionate diamond dealer who has previously assists them, is her mother’s suggests answer to this predicament.

8. La Collectionneuse (1967)

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Director-  Éric Rohmer

Two friends and refined aesthetes, the attractive antiques dealer Adrien and the ambitious artist Daniel, find the ideal escape in a welcoming and picturesque villa overlooking the sun-kissed Saint-Tropez on the French Riviera. The sudden appearance of Haydée, a young, sunburned, unreflective, and relatively simple yet endearing nymph, spoils their peaceful and idle beach vacation. Due to Haydée’s innate propensity for promiscuity, Adrien and Daniel will soon have to impart some moral lessons to their uneducated companion.

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9. Le Jetée (1962)

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Director-  Chris Marker

The few humans still alive in a post-World War III Paris that has been completely destroy now reside beneath the Palais de Chaillot. A scientist who has been investigating time travel wants to send test subjects back to various pre-war eras for food, supplies, and possibly a solution to their precarious situation as they struggle to survive in a maze-like network of dark underground passages. One man, however, who had been in trouble by hazy memories of his youth in unpolluted bygone eras, becomes a change agent after travelling across time. The Orly Airport’s silent jetty symbolises a crucial moment in some mysterious way.

10. Cléo From 5 to 7 (1962)

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Director-  Agnès Varda

Self-obsessed Florence “Cléo” Victoire, a gorgeous, young, statuesque singer on the rise, visits Madame Irma’s house at precisely 5 p.m. for a tarot card reading while anxiously awaiting the results of a key biopsy test. During a lengthy, exciting, thirteen-chapter evening from 5 to 7, sad Cléo walks along the sun-blessed streets of the magnificent Parisian city, prepared for the worst and with over two hours to kill. She is attempting to understand and come to grips with disease and mortality. Cléo has an accidental encounter with the charming young soldier named Antoine who is on leave from the Algerian War and acts as an emotional spark for her as she becomes lost in the busy metropolis. Hope is now all that Cléo has left.