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4 September 1980
The Films in My Life 
by François Truffaut, translated by Leonard Mayhew.
Allen Lane, 358 pp., £6.95, May 1980, 0 7139 1322 3
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... Why do we feel protective about FrançoisTruffaut? No one else in the old New Wave brings out the parent in us. Godard we either hate or admire, a disturbing influence gone solitary. Rivette and Resnais remain austere masters, full of mystification ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘Rebecca’

20 July 2006
Rebecca 
directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
June 2006
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... It’s not a Hitchcock picture,’ the master told FrançoisTruffaut. He was being a little cagy, but in one sense he was right. Rebecca, now showing in a brand-new, sharp-focus print at the National Film Theatre and the Screen on the Hill, was a David O. Selznick ...

The Kiss

Gaby Wood

9 February 1995
Jean Renoir: Letters 
edited by Lorraine LoBianco and David Thompson, translated by Craig Carlson, Natasha Arnoldi and Michael Wells.
Faber, 605 pp., £25, October 1994, 0 571 17298 9
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... are both documentations of particular relationships. One is composed of extensive correspondences (both sides are published) with Robert Flaherty, Dudley Nichols, Clifford Odets, Ingrid Bergman and FrançoisTruffaut. Many letters are exchanged, but since Renoir also actually saw these people, their friendship must have evolved in some space other than their writings, and a lot of the letters are filled ...

Hitchcocko-Hawksien

Christopher Prendergast

5 June 1997
Projections 7 
edited by John Boorman and Walter Donohue.
Faber, 308 pp., £11.99, April 1997, 0 571 19033 2
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Cahiers du cinema. Vol. I: The Fifties. Neo-Realism, Hollywood, New Wave 
edited by Jim Hillier.
Routledge, 312 pp., £65, September 1996, 0 415 15105 8
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Cahiers du cinema. Vol. II: The Sixties. New Wave, New Cinema, Re-evaluating Hollywood 
edited by Jim Hillier.
Routledge, 363 pp., £65, September 1996, 0 415 15106 6
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Cahiers du cinema. Vol. III: 1969-72. The Politics of Representation 
edited by Nick Browne.
Routledge, 352 pp., £65, September 1996, 0 415 02987 2
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... in the social history that produced Vegas as a quintessentially American creation. On the other hand, asked where he got the idea of using the musical score from another film, he replies: ‘from Truffaut’ (he also mentions inclusion in the collage-like soundtrack of the theme music from Godard’s Le Mépris and Vivre sa vie). It would seem that we are travelling full circle, back to the original ...
1 August 1985
Immoral Memories 
by Sergei Eisenstein, translated by Herbert Marshall.
Peter Owen, 292 pp., £20, June 1985, 0 7206 0650 0
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A Certain Tendency of the Hollywood Cinema: 1930-1980 
by Robert Ray.
Princeton, 409 pp., £48.50, June 1985, 0 691 04727 8
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Suspects 
by David Thomson.
Secker, 274 pp., £8.95, May 1985, 0 436 52014 1
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Cahiers du Cinéma. Vol. I: The 1950s. Neo-Realism, Hollywood, New Wave 
edited by Jim Hillier.
Routledge with the British Film Institute, 312 pp., £16.95, March 1985, 0 7100 9620 8
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... and its less than democratic creative constitution. Robert Ray’s A Certain Tendency of the Hollywood Cinema: 1930-1980 (its title playing on a controversial 1954 piece about the French cinema by FrançoisTruffaut in Cahiers du Cinéma) is the work of an intelligent American lover of American films engaging partly with his political and ethical conscience and partly with the spectre of the influential ...

As If

Jonathan Romney: ‘Cahiers du cinéma’

9 September 2010
A Short History of ‘Cahiers du cinéma’ 
by Emilie Bickerton.
Verso, 156 pp., £12.99, March 2010, 978 1 84467 232 5
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... of Paris’s ciné-clubs and the Cinémathèque Française run by Henri Langlois – were the group of five who, once they became film-makers themselves, came to be known as the Nouvelle Vague: FrançoisTruffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Jacques Rivette, Claude Chabrol and Maurice Schérer, later known by his pseudonym, Eric Rohmer. By and large, unlike their counterparts on the left-wing journal Positif ...

Sight, Sound and Sex

Adam Mars-Jones: Dana Spiotta

17 March 2016
Innocents and Others 
by Dana Spiotta.
Scribner, 278 pp., £17.95, March 2016, 978 1 5011 2272 9
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... has reproduced in her leading characters the conflicts (more destructive in the ranks of the Nouvelle Vague, to be sure) between Jean-Luc Godard, preaching the dogma of continuous revolution, and FrançoisTruffaut, the ingratiating humanist. Godard’s background was close to plutocratic, while Truffaut’s early life was almost caricaturally insecure. In Innocents and Others, Carrie Wexler is allowed ...

Hiatus at 4 a.m.

David Trotter: What scared Hitchcock?

3 June 2015
Alfred Hitchcock 
by Peter Ackroyd.
Chatto, 279 pp., £12.99, April 2015, 978 0 7011 6993 0
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Alfred Hitchcock: The Man Who Knew Too Much 
by Michael Wood.
New Harvest, 129 pp., £15, March 2015, 978 1 4778 0134 5
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Hitchcock à la carte 
by Jan Olsson.
Duke, 261 pp., £16.99, March 2015, 978 0 8223 5804 6
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Hitchcock on Hitchcock: Selected Writings and Interviews, Vol. II 
edited by Sidney Gottlieb.
California, 274 pp., £24.95, February 2015, 978 0 520 27960 5
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... Hitchcock​ liked assembly lines. In the long, consistently revealing interview he gave to FrançoisTruffaut in the summer of 1962, he described a scene he had thought of including in North by Northwest (1959), but didn’t. Roger O. Thornhill (Cary Grant) is on his way from New York to Chicago. Why not ...
21 November 1985
Money into Light 
by John Boorman.
Faber, 241 pp., £4.95, September 1985, 0 571 13731 8
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... the script. Of all modern films about the business of film-making, none catches its farcical absurdities and its universal atmosphere of overheated desperation so well, or so affectionately, as FrançoisTruffaut’s Day for Night. As a double-edged reminder that it is on the director’s broad shoulders that the success of the enterprise ultimately rests, and that it is only in his head that the ...

No Beast More Refined

James Davidson: How Good Was Nureyev?

29 November 2007
Rudolf Nureyev: The Life 
by Julie Kavanagh.
Fig Tree, 787 pp., £25, September 2007, 978 1 905490 15 8
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... Niarchos’s yacht with its Degas, Delacroix and Toulouse-Lautrecs, its ‘James Bond’ features and 17th-century olive-wood panelling? Who else was an object of some interest to Mick Jagger, François Mitterrand and Greta Garbo, to Gorbachev, Judy Garland – ‘Rudi’, ‘Judy’, ‘Rudi’, ‘Judy’ – and FrançoisTruffaut? And, among those who were, who was also arrested on suspicion of ...

Burning Witches

Michael Rogin

4 September 1997
Raymond Chandler: A Biography 
by Tom Hiney.
Chatto, 310 pp., £16.99, May 1997, 0 7011 6310 0
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Raymond Chandler Speaking 
edited by Dorothy Gardiner and Kathrine Sorley Walker.
California, 288 pp., £10.95, May 1997, 0 520 20835 8
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... Hammett and Georges Simenon in the Série Noire that gave film noir its name. French homages to noir – the Jean-Luc Godard/Jean-Paul Belmondo Breathless, made the year Chandler died, and the FrançoisTruffaut/Charles Aznavour Shoot the Pianist – fulfilled the form as tragedy and initiated the New Wave ...

Diary

David Thomson: ‘Vertigo’ after Weinstein

21 June 2018
... It wasn’t just Hitchcock’s greatest hit, but what turned him from a showbusiness wonder into a modern artist deserving of studies, seminars and PhDs, as well as the book-length interview done by FrançoisTruffaut in 1967. Hitchcock was a different man after 1960, even if he was by then in his sixties and someone who should have known better. He could make objects and ethers potent – a knife, a ...

The ashtrays worry me

Emilie Bickerton: Eric Rohmer

19 March 2015
Eric Rohmer: Biographie 
by Antoine de Baecque and Noël Herpe.
Stock, 605 pp., €29, January 2014, 978 2 234 07561 0
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Friponnes de porcelaine 
by Eric Rohmer.
Stock, 304 pp., €20, January 2014, 978 2 234 07631 0
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...  the first – by the French film historians Antoine de Baecque and Noël Herpe. Compared to his New Wave comrades, Rohmer’s work has never been especially cool or iconic, yet more than FrançoisTruffaut’s or Jean-Luc Godard’s it divides audiences right down the middle. Those who like his films are often protective and passionate and have seen them all; those who don’t complain of ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘L’Enfant’, ‘Caché’

6 April 2006
L’Enfant 
directed by Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne.
May 2005
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Caché 
directed by Michael Haneke.
May 2005
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... Anonymous city, handheld camera, actors who scarcely seem to be acting: we may think we know where we are, more or less. This is surely the New Wave by way of Neo-Realism, early Truffaut chasing late Rossellini. Didn’t we get over this? How could a film in this vein, namely L’Enfant, written and directed by Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne, win the Palme d’Or at Cannes last year ...

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