Catching an indie European flick can be a refreshing reprieve from Hollywood. Actors look like people, not airbrushed representations of perfection. Long crane shots are often replaced with documentary-style methods of capturing action that looks real and urgent. And there are messy plot lines, languishing dialogue, and multifaceted characters who are neither bad nor good. But it wasn't always so. Europe had its own glamorous cinematic heyday filled with period dramas and impossibly attractive people. It took two pioneering French filmmakers -- Jean-Luc Godard and François Truffaut -- to crash the party (specifically at the 1959 Cannes Film Festival) and usher in nouvelle vague. They offered cinema on a tight budget, full of beautiful mess and existential questioning, and none of the tricks and effects of traditional films.
In Two in the Wave, rare footage and film clips depict the strange friendship between two film fanatics -- a poor reform-school boy and a Swiss haute bourgeois -- that changed cinema history forever before their relationship's eventual demise. Buffs can catch the documentary Friday through Sunday at Miami Beach Cinematheque.
Fridays-Sundays, 8:40 p.m. Starts: Sept. 2. Continues through Sept. 4, 2011