Was there an American New Wave?
While the phrase “American new wave” appeared in film circles in the 1960s and has surfaced sporadically in the intervening years, it has generally been replaced by terms like “American independent cinema” and “New Hollywood.” This chapter returns both to the original moment when directors and critics hailed the arrival of a new wave on American shores and to filmmakers who foregrounded the key issues of youth, cities, and the mise en scène of post-WWII modernity. While Arthur Penn, Mickey One, and Bonnie and Clyde figure prominently in any account of an American new wave, this chapter also considers the role of Melvin Van Peebles and John Cassavetes in recreating the city film during a time of suburbanization.
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