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France, Culture

Alain Resnais, nouvelle vague, French crown, Francois Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard

The culture of France has profoundly influenced that of the entire Western world, particularly in the areas of art and letters, and Paris has long been regarded as the fountainhead of French culture. France first attained cultural preeminence in Europe during the Middle Ages; later, the wealth of the French crown in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries provided a subsidization of art on a scale comparable to that of the papacy in Rome, attracting to Paris many of Europe’s most talented artists and artisans. Wealth also created a leisure class, which had both the time and the means for developing elegance in dress, manners, furnishings, and architecture. French styles still pervade much of Western culture. In the 20th century French cinema assumed a leading world position, particularly in the 1960s with the nouvelle vague (“new wave”) group of film directors, such as Jean-Luc Godard, Alain Resnais, and Francois Truffaut.

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Article key phrases:

Alain Resnais, nouvelle vague, French crown, Francois Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, leisure class, papacy, culture of France, Western culture, Middle Ages, manners, new wave, artisans, Rome, furnishings, Paris, elegance, wealth, architecture, dress, means, letters, time


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