Bon Anniversaire François Truffaut

Today marks what would’ve been François Truffaut’s 80th birthday had he not passed away at the age of 52 in 1984. There are plenty of people out there who could offer much grander tributes to the great director, but I will say personally that as much as I love my classical Hollywood films (and it’s definately a lot), the first time I saw The 400 Blows it resonated deeply with me in a way that few films have. It’s that joy of watching something that is artistic and beautifully put together that also touches you personally on some level. My upbringing reflects nothing of Antoine Doinel’s, but there are moments in that film that remind us all of childhood, and that spirit of rebellion that we wanted to join or perhaps did.

I think Jean-Luc Godard captured perfectly what this film meant then, at the start of the  film movement that became the French New Wave, and what it still embodies today:

“To sum up, what shall I say? This: Les 400 Coups will be a film signed Frankness. Rapidity. Art. Novelty. Cinematograph. Originality. Impertinence. Seriousness. Tragedy. Renovation. Ubu-Roi. Fantasy. Ferocity. Affection. Universality. Tenderness.”1

Truffaut and Jean-Pierre Léaud at Cannes

So happy birthday to a master that I greatly admire, a wonderful filmmaker, writer and critic who above all loved the cinema and gave back such amazing work for us all to enjoy and appreciate.

1 From Cahiers du Cinéma: The 1950s, ed. Jim Hillier (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1985).
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2 Responses to Bon Anniversaire François Truffaut

  1. Rick29 says:

    Nice to see a birthday wish to one of the world’s great filmmakers. Just recently, I saw one of Truffaut’s most different films, THE BRIDE WORE BLACK, and must say it features one of my all-time fave endings. Also, we can’t forget the superb interviews with Hitchcock that Truffaut published. I don’t know if there’s a better about filmmaking.

  2. Thanks for the comment! Yes, he was definately one of the greatest. A great filmmaker and lover of film, his knowledge comes through in those Hitchcock interviews, and in his film criticism and essays as well. Still need to see The Bride Wore Black, it’s on my list. I just rewatched Jules and Jim today, and his work still stuns me even on multiple viewings. Just a true master. Thanks for reading!

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