“I’m sure Ferrand is wrong. Life is more important than films.”*
Francois Truffaut died on this day in 1984 at the age of 52. He was a French film director, screenwriter, producer, and actor, and one of the founders of the French New Wave. You remember them–they all smoked cigarettes and wore black turtlenecks.
He made about twenty-five movies, many of them now considered classics.
His first color and only English-speaking film was Fahrenheit 451 (1966) which I saw at a fairly young age. I was deeply effected by it.
Another favorite of mine is Day for Night (1973)–or, as we say in French, La Nuit américaine. The title refers to the ‘filmmaking process called in French “la nuit américaine” (“American night”), whereby sequences filmed outdoors in daylight are shot using film balanced for tungsten (indoor) light and underexposed (or adjusted during post production) to appear as if they are taking place at night.’ I bet you didn’t know that.
Anyway, it is a movie about making a movie and stars the great Italian actress Valentina Cortese, who was so terrific as Herodias in Jesus of Nazareth (1977).
Jacqueline Bisset is in it too, along with some French actors, and it won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film that year.
Americans probably know Francois Truffaut best for the part he played in Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977). He was Claude Lacombe, a French government scientist in charge of UFO-related activities in the United States. Why, you ask, would a Frenchman be in charge of UFO-related activities in the U.S.? Who knows; it was a movie.
So my Friday pick is to watch a film by Francois Truffaut. Jules et Jim, anyone?
Puff, puff. (And this is interesting.)
*Alphonse in Day for Night