French Impressionist Cinema By Leskosky, Richard J.
French Impressionist Cinema describes an avant-garde film movement lasting approximately from 1918 to 1929. It was characterised by camera and editing techniques which both augmented the beauty of the image and evoked characters’ psychological states. Impressionist filmmakers regarded film as an art form in itself rather than simply a means for recording plays and novels. They believed art should not attempt to express truths directly, but rather create an experience which gives rise to emotions that would lead audiences to underlying truths. Mood and suggestion took precedence over plot. The ideas underlying French Impressionist Cinema found articulation in the writings of film critic and ciné-club founder Louis Delluc, who went on to write screenplays and direct films in the movement. Other notable Impressionist directors include Abel Gance (1889–1981), Marcel L’Herbier (1890–1979), Germaine Dulac (1882–1942), Jean Epstein (1897–1953), Jacques Feyder (1885–1948), Jean Renoir (1894–1979), and Russian émigré Dimitri Kirsanoff (1899–1957).