Truffaut on Cinema

By François Truffaut; Anne Gillain et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 18
1971: TWO ENGLISH GIRLS

Jules and Jim was filmed from a distance, both in space
and time, and the painful shocks were blunted. For Two
English Girls
, I wanted people to feel the emotions of the
characters along with them and, if possible, for one to feel
them physically. I am not ashamed to say that I was hoping
people would cry when watching this film, if only because
the actors genuinely cried when they were performing in it.

Interview with Yvonne Baby, Le Monde, no. 8356,
November 25, 1971

Each one of your films comes out of the others. It is Jules and Jim that led
you to
Two English Girls and the Continent. Both books are by the same
author, Henri-Pierre Roché, who wrote the first when he was seventy-four
years old and the second when he was seventy-seven. It is the same story in
reverse. Nevertheless, these two books are very different from one another.
For you, what constitutes this difference? And how will it be apparent in
your film?

Since it was published, I have read and reread Two English Girls and the Continent several times each year, for my own enjoyment. The idea of making it into a film occurred to me quite recently. In Jules and Jim, I used quite a few sentences and ideas from Two English Girls, but this second novel struck me as less successful than Jules and Jim, even though it had more beautiful things

-218-

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