Film Directors on Directing

By John Andrew Gallagher | Go to book overview

François Truffaut

François Truffaut was truly the Man Who Loved Movies, a quintessential filmmaker who wrote and directed his pictures with a consistency of quality and artistic conviction that placed him firmly among the greatest auteurs in international cinema, right beside Federico Fellini, Ingmar Bergman, and Stanley Kubrick. He wrote about movies with great love, and celebrated life in his own films with a poetic and often romantic realism.

Born in Paris on February 6, 1932, Truffaut endured an unhappy childhood, drawn both to cinema and trouble. Rescued from delinquency by the critic Andre Bazin, he cultivated his passion for film by viewing thousands of movies, interviewing directors, and writing brilliant articles for the influential film journal Cahiers du Cinema. It was only a matter of time and money before he started making films himself, and after a brief apprenticeship with Roberto Rossellini, he directed several shorts, Une Visite ( 1954) and Les Mistons ( 1957). He provided the story for Godard Breathless ( 1959), and with his directorial debut Les Quatre Cents Coups/The 400 Blows ( 1959), helped spearhead the "New Wave" of French filmmaking. The 400 Blows introduced cinematic alter-ego Jean-Pierre Leaud as Antoine Doinel, and audiences watched Leaud/ Doinel progress from childhood to maturity in a remarkable series of films -- L'Amour à Vingt Ans/Love at Twenty ( 1962), Baisers voles/Stolen Kisses ( 1968), Domicile conjugal/Bed and Board ( 1970), and L'Amour en fuite/Love on the Run ( 1979).

Internationally acclaimed after his first feature, Truffaut went on to astound filmgoers with his virtuosity on Tirez sur le Pianiste/Shoot the Piano Player ( 1960) and Jules et Jim/Jules and Jim ( 1961), films that reflect the influence, respectively, of Truffaut's spiritual mentors Alfred Hitchcock and Jean Renoir. Hitchcock's manipulative suspense and Renoir's poetic lyricism helped formulate the Truffaut style in some of the finest films of the Sixties -- La Peau Douce/The Soft Skin ( 1964), Fahrenheit 451 ( 1966), La Mariee etaiten Noir/The Bride Wore Black

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Film Directors on Directing
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface and Acknowledgments ix
  • John G. Avildsen 1
  • Tony Bill 21
  • Michael Cimino 37
  • Abel Ferrara 49
  • James Glickenhaus 57
  • Menahem Golan 75
  • Stuart Gordon 89
  • Ulu Grosbard 101
  • Anthony Harvey 115
  • Dennis Hopper 127
  • Ted Kotcheff 141
  • Adrian Lyne 159
  • John Milius 169
  • Alan Parker 183
  • Franc Roddam 195
  • Mark Rydell 209
  • Susan Seidelman 221
  • Joan Micklin Silver 231
  • James Toback 241
  • FrançOis Truffaut 259
  • Wim Wenders 269
  • Bibliography 279
  • Index 283
  • About the Author 301
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