All posts tagged: Raymond Cauchetier

Raymond Cauchetier’s Nouvelle Vague: “Artists are creators. I am a witness.”

“I’m famous here for Nouvelle Vague photographs but far more famous in Indochina for pictures like these,” Raymond Cauchetier says, gesturing to two pictures taken during his time in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. They are the only ones in the James Hyman’s Mayfair gallery that give us a glimpse of the other side of Cauchetier’s photographic career. Cauchetier has travelled to London for the first time to mark his 95th birthday, and to witness the opening of his first ever solo show in the city. Cauchetier has become synonymous with French cinema’s iconic 1960s movement Nouvelle Vague thanks to his frank shots of on the sets of directors like François Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard, capturing performers like Jean Paul Belmondo, Anna Karina and Jean Seberg on films like A Bout de Souffle (1959) Une Femme est Une Femme (1960), Jules et Jim (1961) and Peau de Banane (1963). Cauchetier is still full of energy, snapping pictures of the journalists with his Leica. “My first camera was a Rolleiflex,” he says. “The advantage is that it’s very solid, when it falls in the water, you only need to dry …


Breathless cool: the enduring influence of the Nouvelle Vague

The Nouvelle Vague began, more or less, with Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless (1960), and it came in a rush. Upstart and “arsehole” Michel (Jean-Paul Belmondo) is a man in motion. On the run and racing off in a stolen car before his female accomplice has time to get in with him, he speeds down the motorway, cursing anyone who dares slow his breakneck pace. Michel embodies a fugitive brand of modernity, too fast and fleeting to pin down, so even Godard’s innovative editing is jumpy and restless – and yet he will come crashing to a halt in Paris, while he waits on his American lover Patricia (Jean Seberg) to decide whether she will move on with him to Rome. Patricia wants to stay and to finish her studies – and yet far from representing the stasis of the past, she is in fact younger than Michel, sports a thoroughly modern hairstyle, and wants her own independence, rather than to play a pre-written rôle in Michel’s story.


BJP Staff