A Truffaut Notebook

A Truffaut Notebook

by Sam Solecki

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François Truffaut (1932-1984) ranks among the greatest film directors and has had a worldwide impact on filmmaking as a screenwriter, producer, film critic, and founding member of the French New Wave. His most celebrated films include The 400 Blows, Shoot the Piano Player, Jules and Jim, Day for Night, and The Last Metro. A Truffaut Notebook is a lively and eclectic introduction to the life and work of this major cinematic figure. In entries as brief as a page, as well as in full-length essays, it examines topics such as Truffaut's mentors, the autobiographical nature of his films, his place in the film tradition, his film criticism, his reputation, his relationships with other directors, and the formal and thematic coherence of his body of work. Sam Solecki also argues for Truffaut's continuing appeal and relevance by examining his influence on filmmakers like Woody Allen, Noah Baumbach, Alexander Payne, Patrice Leconte, and Jean-Pierre Jeunet, and on writers such as Julian Barnes, Ann Beattie, and Salman Rushdie. Because the book returns regularly to the author's shifting responses to Truffaut's work over the last fifty years, it also offers an autobiographical meditation on his own lifelong fascination with film. Consisting of over eighty short entries and essays, as well as provocative lists, dreams, and quizzes, A Truffaut Notebook is an original and exciting text and a model of passionate engagement with cinema.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780773597990
Publisher: McGill-Queens University Press
Publication date: 11/01/2015
Series: McGill-Queen's Studies in Urban Governance , #3
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Sam Solecki is emeritus professor of English at the University of Toronto.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

The Films of François Truffaut 3

Chronology 5

Why Truffaut? 9

In His Own Words I 22

Roland Levy and Roland Truffaut 23

Early Films: François and Sam 26

The Godfather: Andre Bazin (1918-1958) 31

1 January 1954: "A Certain Tendency in French Cinema" 36

The Mischief Makers (1957): Some Boys and a Girl on a Bicycle 41

Films Truffaut Didn't Make I 44

Some Titles for The 400 Blows (1959) 48

Making Films Together: A Letter to the Cast and Crew of The Last Metro (21 January 1980) 50

The 400 Blows: A Life on Film 53

Jean-Pierre Léaud with Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, and Bernardo Bertolucci 62

Robert Lachenay (1930-2005): The Best Friend and the Ancillary Life 69

Sacha Guitry (1885-1957): Le Roman d'un tricheur and The 400 Blows 72

Shoot the Piano Player (1960): All You Need Is Love 75

Shoot the Piano Player and a Debt to the Past 80

Truffaut's Breathless and Jean-Luc Godard's 82

A Posthumous Questionnaire (January 2015) 84

Truffaut in His Letters 90

Jules and Jim (1961): When We Speak of Freedom and Love and Death 95

Eric Rohmer's La Collectionneuse (1967) and Jules and Jim 104

Julian Barnes's Talking It Over (1991) and Jules and Jim 107

Salman Rushdie's The Ground beneath Her Feet (1999) and Jules and Jim 109

Truffaut in and out of His Time 112

Carlos Saura on The Soft Skin (1964), Obliquely 114

The Auteur and the Empty Room 116

Meeting Jeanne Moreau in Venice 119

Truffaut Looks back to Godard: Fahrenheit 451 (1966) and Alphaviile (1965) 124

Fahrenheit 451 and Truffaut's English 125

The Bride Wore Black (1967) 128

Jacques Demy, Catherine Deneuve, Françoise Dorléac, and Truffaut 131

Stolen Kisses (1968): A Debt to Marcel Proust or Anatole France 134

David Thomson's Mississippi Mermaid (1969) 136

Fahrenheit 451 (1966), Week-end (1967), The Wild Child (1969): A Dialogue? 138

Maurice Pialat's Wild Child: L'Enfance nue (1968) 142

Woody Allen's Deconstructing Harry (1997) and Antoine Doinel 144

Patrice Leconte's The Girl on the Bridge (1999) 146

"François, My Boy" and "Mr Hitchcock" 148

Truffaut's Typewriters 153

The Ending of Two Fnglish Girls (1971) 156

Two English Girls, Agora (2009), and Seeing Red on the Screen 161

Truffaut, Godard, and Timbres 164

Truffaut's Afterlife: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007) 166

Johnny Guitar (1954): Bad Faith in Truffaut and David Thomson 168

A Title Quiz 171

Creativity and Accidents 172

Day for Night (1973): The Family Movie 176

Day for Night, Wes Anderson, and American Express 180

81/2 (1963), Day for Night (1973), Stardust Memories (1980), Nine (2009) 183

Pauline Kael, Wim Wenders, and Truffaut 185

Truffaut, Adam Zagajewski, and the Fate of Spirit 190

Truffaut in The Squid and the Whale (2005) 194

Truffaut and Paul Léautaud (1872-1956) 199

Montmartre and "Certification" 201

The Story of Adele H. (1975): Truffaut's Feminism 201

Truffaut and Deneuve in The Story of Adèle H. 206

A Dream: The Story of Adele H. and Elle 209

Small Change (1976) and Renoir's The River (1951) 211

An Aged Man Is But a Paltry Thing 214

Ingmar Bergman, Cavaleur 217

Fame: Daphne Moon, Niles Crane, and a Truffaut Film 220

The Man Who Loved Women (1977): Truffaut and Don Juan 221

Joao César Monteiro's A Comédia de Deus (1995): The Man Who Loved Girls 224

Leslie Caron 226

Suzanne Schiffman (1929-2001) 229

Trufard and Godfaut: Resemblances 232

Balthus (1908-2001) 234

Film Names: Who Remembers Michel Poiccard and Patricia Franchini? 236

The Green Room (1978): The Man Who Loved One Woman 241

A Short History of "Dummies": Luis Bunuel, Truffaut, and Oskar Kokoschka 250

The Sentence that Sticks 255

Pauline Kael's Farewell to Truffaut and Godard 258

Paul Schrader's Tears 261

The Last Metro (1980): François Truffaut-Lévy 263

Subtitles and Voices 269

Roberto Rossellini (1906-1977): The Italian Godfather 271

The Woman Next Door (1981): "Neither with you nor without you" 274

Fanny Marguerite Judith Ardant 278

François and Sam: Some Favourite Films 280

A Godard Dream (26 June 2011) 281

Le Journal d'Alphonse: A Doinel Sequel 284

In His Own Words II 288

Truffaut's Afterlife: Amélle (2001) 289

Antoine de Baecque's Two in the Wave (2010) 292

Unfinished Business: Films Truffaut Didn't Make II 295

The Grave in Montmartre 299

Last Words 302

Notes 303

Bibliography 319

Index 331

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