24 Great Directors: Francois Truffaut

“I make films that I would like to have seen when I was a young man.”

What Got This Director Here?
: 400 Blows.

My Favorite Past Experience Was…: 400 Blows.

What Did I Watch: Day for Night/Antoine and Collette.

Where Does He Fit: Day for Night is a very easy film to poke holes into if you look too hard at it. A particularly ridiculous moment involves Francois Truffaut’s stand-in ordering several books with director names printed in the title, only to make what seems to be bland hackwork. Godard’s points about the film as a whole are not unreasonable, but as a comedy about the ridiculousness of any industry, it’s pretty hard to top. The cat acts like a cat, and it’s funny. Jean-Pierre Leaud’s girlfriend holds the flowers she is given at the start upside-down, and it’s great. All the actors, particularly Valentina Cortese, are on just the right wavelength for something this frothy and fun.


Antoine and Colette may only be a little touch of a sequel, but it’s a delightful little short even if it could have easily been expanded into a shorter feature. The anthology it’s part of has a poor reputation, but this is designed to feel like a sketch of a brief time, a lost love that is oddly fitting for Jean-Pierre Leaud to fall out of and into. His characters in that time were always casually awful about women, but Truffaut is too much of a humanist to not have a side of himself reserved for Colette. And what an ending!


Most Valuable Asset: Charm and love.
Most Excited For: Stolen Kisses.
Did They Deserve a Spot?: Yes.

Coming Up Next: Sergei Eisenstein, montage man.


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