Heart of the Nouvelle Vague

By Michael Roberts

Truffaut burst on the international scene with his remarkable and assured debut 'The 400 Blows' in 1959 and quickly became a successful and feted director. Part of a group of ex cinema critics like Jean-Luc Godard and Claude Chabrol, who moved into making their own films, fed up with the type of cinema mainstream France was producing. Unlike the others Truffaut's debut is virtually autobiographical, himself a neglected and lonely child who became obsessed with cinema. Apart from his second feature, the playful and experimental 'Shoot The Piano Player' Truffaut avoided the kind of deconstructionist ethic of many of his peers, and instead favoured a classical style of direction, in the mould of his heroes like Hitchcock and Renoir, and with perspectives that resonated with his own life. Truffaut found his feet again with his masterful third feature, the romantic and stunning 'Jules et Jim', and never looked back.

He died much too soon at age 54, but left behind a wealth of indelible images and engaging cinematic stories.

 

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The Bride Wore Black

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The Last Metro

Day For Night

Two English Girls

Mississippi Mermaid

 

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