François Truffaut

François Truffaut – La Mariée était en noir AKA The Bride wore Black (1968)

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This Francois Truffaut thriller is based on a novel by William Irish (aka Cornell Woolrich), whose books had been adapted by Alfred Hitchcock on many previous occasions. Jeanne Moreau stars as a woman whose fiancé is nastily murdered by five men. Utilizing a series of disguises, the cool-customer Moreau tracks down all five culprits, sexually enslaves them, and then engineers their deaths. The ominous musical score was written by Bernard Herrmann, another frequent Hitchcock collaborator. The Bride Wore Black was initially released in France as La Mariee etait en Noir. — Hal Erickson Read More »

François Truffaut – Antoine et Colette AKA Antoine and Colette (1962)

Synopsis:
This short film is the first segment of five in the multinational feature Love at Twenty (1962), all five segments on the theme of first adult love. After indulging in much delinquency in his youth, seventeen year old Antoine Doinel, having been provided opportunity to get out of that delinquent life, is now an upstanding member of society working for Philips Records, which allows him to indulge in his love of music. Read More »

Serge Leroy / Claude de Givrey / Bernard Revon / Guy Seligman – Les salades de l’amour – François Truffaut (1961 – 1986)

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• Portrait of François Truffaut
This excerpt from Serge Leroy’s 1961 documentary François Truffaut shows the newly celebrated filmmaker discussing his influences and beginnings along with Les Mistons and The 400 Blows.

from the Criterion DVD

Portrait of François Truffaut is a a twenty-five minute excerpt from a 1961 documentary by Serge Leroy, covering the director’s early years. Truffaut does plenty of talking about the creative choices and influences that went into his first films, while fidgeting restlessly in a chair before the camera, with overlong clips from his first few films mixed in.

from DVDBreakdown.com Read More »

François Truffaut – La nuit américaine AKA Day For Night (1973)

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Known to English-speaking audiences as Day for Night, La nuit américaine was director François Truffaut’s loving and humorous tribute to the communal insanity of making a movie. The film details the making of a family drama called “Meet Pamela” about the tragedy that follows when a young French man introduces his parents to his new British wife. Truffaut gently satirizes his own films with “Meet Pamela”‘s overwrought storyline, but the real focus is on the chaos behind the scenes. One of the central actresses is continually drunk due to family problems, while the other is prone to emotional instability, and the male lead (Truffaut regular Jean-Pierre Leaud) starts to act erratically when his intermittent romance with the fickle script girl begins to fail. In addition to all this personal drama, the film is besieged by technical problems, from difficult tracking shots to stubborn animal actors. The inspiration for future satires of movie-making from Living in Oblivion to Irma Vep, La nuit américaine was considered slight by some critics in comparison to earlier Truffaut masterworks, but it went on to win the 1973 Oscar for Best Foreign Film. Read More »

François Truffaut – La peau douce AKA The Soft Skin (1964)

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Many of François Truffaut’s film have elements of the autobiographical and The Soft Skin is no exception. Written in collaboration with Jean-Louis Richard, the French director in renowned for having affairs with his leading ladies. Luckily for Truffaut he didn’t suffer the same fate as Jean Desailly does in the film.

On his way to deliver a talk about Balzac in Lisbon, a well-known writer and editor of a literary magazine Pierre Lachenay (Jean Desailly) meets and is instantly attracted to an air stewardess (Nicole – Françoise Dorléac). Despite seemingly living a happy life with his wife Franca (Nelly Benedetti) and their daughter, he is fascinated by her, and the pair embark on an affair. As Pierre attempts to covertly carry on the affair whilst fulfilling his speaking commitments, relationships become strained both home and away. Read More »

François Truffaut – Fahrenheit 451 [+commentary] (1966)

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In a futuristic town, Guy Montag (played by Oskar Werner) works as a fireman but with an ironic twist: his job is to create bonfires of books, which have been banned. Montag is content with his life until several encounters lead him to hide books himself and, eventually, become a fugitive from the state. These encounters include meeting a young, attractive freethinker, Clarisse (Julie Christie), who tells him about a past when firemen were actually charged with putting out fires instead of starting them; the suicide of a woman who opts to die with her beloved books; and the increasing disinterestedness and emotional emptiness of his wife (also played by Christie), who is devoid of ideas and prefers drugs and government-controlled television to human interaction.
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François Truffaut – Letters (1989)

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This collects nearly all of Truffaut’s extant correspondence, many were lost or simply never kept, a few have been withheld for personal reasons but what does remain still amounts to a very hefty and remarkable body of letters.

Perhaps this is a more enjoyable book to leaf through and let something catch your eye than to read in a strict chronological fashion. That said the early sections that capture the eventful years of Truffaut’s late adolescence do possess quite a narrative thrust of their own: selling your friends most treasured possessions behind his back, a suicide attempt, desertion from the army, military incarceration… Read More »