The Birth of Science New Wave Cinema

Edward Shepard
Nov 7, 2016 · 5 min read
Still from SUPERSYMMETRY, web documentary by Motherboard

French New Wave films smashed convention and reinvented the art of cinema. Today the Science New Wave is doing the same thing.

The term “new wave” is inspired by La Nouvelle Vague, the New Wave of films that transformed French cinema starting in the late 1950’s.

There is a similar new wave of science cinema emerging worldwide.

“Science film” evokes an educational movie you’d watch in a classroom or on public television. But while the universe of science cinema includes educational films, it’s also vastly larger, weirder, and more experimental.

Science New Wave films are often expressive, personal, and experimental.

The Science New Wave is both fiction and non-fiction. Sometimes it’s a chimera of the two. Sometimes it’s raw lab footage. Sometimes it’s avant-garde. Sometimes it’s animated, and sometimes it’s data-visualized.

Blood Film,” abstract

The Quality of the Science New Wave

In the 1960’s, influential New Wave director Francois Truffaut said:

In Science New Wave films, the filmmaker is as much scientist as scientist is filmmaker.

In Science New Wave films, the filmmaker is as much scientist as scientist is filmmaker. The scientist observes and experiments; the filmmaker perceives and portrays.

Still from “Kepler

10 Examples of the Science New Wave From Labocine’s Public Archive

SUPERSYMMETRY, web documentary
How to Found an Ant Colony,” inventive documentary + lab footage.
Eclipse of Taregna,” fiction
Blood Film,” abstract
Deja Vu, fiction
Into Deep Space, documentary
Spectrum, documentary + experimental short
Lamina, avant-garde
Micro Empire, experimental
Solar Sinter Project


Labocine is a new platform for extraordinary films from the science new wave. From lab footage to documentary to fiction, Labocine aspires to become one of the largest and most diverse platforms for science cinema worldwide.

Journal of Labocine

Updates from Labocine, a new platform for films from the…

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store