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Author Topic: The Truffaut Thread  (Read 1200 times)
dave jenkins
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« on: May 07, 2015, 02:35:35 PM »

According to Lee Kline, Criterion is working on Day For Night:
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We’re working on Truffaut’s Day For Night, and [cinematographer] Pierre-William Glenn is still alive. He helped us with the restoration, and when we were doing it, we found a lot of crazy close-ups that looked super grainy and weird. I asked why they were like that, and he told me that when Truffaut was editing the film, there were moments when he wanted close-ups that he hadn’t filmed. So, he optically printed other shots—medium shots, say—and blew them up into close-ups. He flung those in rather than reshooting, and by blowing them up, they became ugly pieces of film that really looked inferior to everything surrounding them. Glenn said he wished they could be fixed, and we told him we could with various grain techniques. I asked him if he thought Truffaut would be okay with our doing that, and he said Truffaut wouldn’t have cared. As a director, he made the choice because he cared more about having a close-up there than he did the quality of the image. It seems safe to assume that he wouldn’t have wanted anyone to think about the filmmaking at that moment, so he wouldn’t have been averse to easing the quality of the image.
http://www.avclub.com/article/how-film-restorers-brought-apu-trilogy-back-life-218781

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« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2015, 05:24:08 PM »

Criterion Blu now available at amazon for 44% off MSRP. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00XV31T12?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=ox_sc_act_title_4&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

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« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2015, 07:32:01 PM »

Blu-ray.com: http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Day-for-Night-Blu-ray/44177/#Review

Money quote:
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The film looks vibrant and very healthy. Even the opening credits look strikingly rich and clean. Close-ups boast wonderful depth while the larger panoramic shots impress with very good fluidity. Contrast levels remain stable. Colors are also stable, healthy, and very natural. In fact, the color grading is one of the best that I have seen on a recent restoration of a classic European film -- all major color tonalities are very well balanced. There are no traces of problematic degraining or sharpening adjustments. Density probably could be marginally better, but the end result truly is very convincing. Finally, it is easy to tell that debris, scratches, cuts, and damage marks have been carefully removed as the film is virtually spotless. My score is 4.75/5.00.

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« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2015, 09:22:30 AM »

One of the most boring movies I ever saw. Both at the cinema and on tv. Except for his first movie all of this author's movies are more or less disposable.

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« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2015, 04:09:18 PM »

Like most Truffaut films, it is not a masterpiece (and isn't supposed to be one): it's heavily flawed, quickly done, to the point. Like most Truffaut films, it also has a special feel, a charm as we French would say. If it isn't among his best work (The Bride Wore Black, Stolen Kisses, Mississippi Mermaid, The Last Metro, The Woman Next Door), it's definitely one of his good ones.
That being said, just like for most Truffaut films, is a Blu Ray disk a necessary upgrade? I don't think so.

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« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2015, 06:35:56 PM »

a charm as we French would say.

Thought you french would say charme. Evil

Anyway, I have always thought that what people (even critics over here) call "charme" as referred to T.'s movies is the complete inanity and irrelevancy of his stories. Maybe viewers think they're true to life. 

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« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2015, 07:08:09 PM »

I liked DAY FOR NIGHT, though there is one big flaw: the writing for the Leaud character is one of the dumbest I've ever seen. All he does is run around and ask people duumbass questions like: Are girls amazing? Are girls wondeful? Are girls angelic?

I have no idea what the hell that pain in the ass character is doing in an otherwise good movie.

As to Truffaut in general: IMO, he made some pretty good movies, but among his films that I've seen, he never came close to equaling the greatness of his first movie, THE 400 BLOWS. And he certainly should not have made any followups to that Antoine Doinel character. I wish Doinel had died at the end of the first movie so that no sequels would be possible. Okay, maybe the first sequel, the short, was decent as far as shorts go. But the three subsequent feature sequels are nothing special; the last one is basically just a compilation of clips from the earlier movies. Easy money.
Frankly, after the first movie, I really don't give a shit about Antoine Doinel.

And btw, I've seen much more Truffaut movies than Godards (I can't stand Godard's annoying artsy farsty  bullshit) but from the movies I've seen, Godard also never came close to equaling his first film (BREATHLESS). Yeah, I know, neither did Orson Welles.

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« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2015, 09:53:19 PM »

Thought you french would say charme. Evil

Anyway, I have always thought that what people (even critics over here) call "charme" as referred to T.'s movies is the complete inanity and irrelevancy of his stories. Maybe viewers think they're true to life. 

It's kind of both. Some of them are both true to life and full of inanity (some would say poetry) and maybe it"s where that "charme" comes from. Irrelevancy, I don't think so.

And he certainly should not have made any followups to that Antoine Doinel character. I wish Doinel had died at the end of the first movie so that no sequels would be possible. Okay, maybe the first sequel, the short, was decent as far as shorts go. But the three subsequent feature sequels are nothing special;

Some people are going to wish YOU died at the end of the first movie because you're so wrong. The follow up are really, really great and Truffaut would never have been Truffaut without them. Even if you don't like them, it's like saying "I wish Leone would have done OUATITW right after FOD because frankly I never cared for FFDM and GBU". It doesn't work this way. Also, most of them are at least as good as 400 Blows.

the last one is basically just a compilation of clips from the earlier movies. Easy money.

Yeah, this one is a rip off. But the fact that Truffaut did it only for money (he was broke after his Green Room box office bomb) is now well accepted.

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« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2015, 11:23:09 PM »


Some people are going to wish YOU died at the end of the first movie because you're so wrong. The follow up are really, really great and Truffaut would never have been Truffaut without them. Even if you don't like them, it's like saying "I wish Leone would have done OUATITW right after FOD because frankly I never cared for FFDM and GBU". It doesn't work this way. Also, most of them are at least as good as 400 Blows.


I don't know, maybe it's cuz I am more into drama than comedy. But "Truffaut would never have been Truffaut without them"?? Like these movies are "Essential Truffaut"? come on. which was the one in which he cheats on his wife with the Japanese girl, then when things go wrong with the Jap, he calls his the ex-wife to cry in her lap; she has to comfort him when things are going bad with his mistress? come on. so goddamn ridiculous.

Maybe those movies would be alright on their own. Maybe they just suffer from being sequels to one of the truly great films of all-time, and that Leaud is so much better as a kid than as an adult. But to say they are at least as good as 400 Blows?? No way!

p.s. I tried Googling how to say "No way" in French - I wanted to end the post with that phrase. Bearing in mind that idioms can't be translated literally .... I decided not to. At least 5 different options came up. No doubt one is correct and 4 are ridiculous: pas du tout, en aucune façon, C'est pas vrai, non et non !, niet !,    des clous ! ...... which reminds me that i wanted to begin the post with BULLSHIT but that could be either connerie or foutaise or .... ok I'll stop right there  Wink

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« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2015, 11:38:47 PM »

They work as a series but I'm not sure Truffaut was right to tie them to his 400 Blows. They have no apparent link whatsoever and are very different in style.

Anyway, they are essential to me. And they were to the audience (which means they were essential to bring Truffaut to a broad audience, hence changing his career, which is what I meant earlier). The Bride Wore Black is a better film but I could live without it. I would be less happy without his Antoine Doinel series.

"Pas du tout!" works great. "Niet" is russian.
"Foutaise" is old fashioned and "connerie" alone could work but it would be more idiomatic to say "C'est des conneries!" (which isn't grammatically correct).
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« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2015, 09:11:27 AM »

Maybe you are right, those movies would be better unrelated to THE 400 BLOWS. To me, anything after T400B has to be a letdown. But I guess that using the Antoine Doinel name ensured that those who loved T400B will watch the sequel$$$$

Btw ... With all the talk about the New Wavve artsy fartsy shit, to me Godard seems to be much more of a guy who played around with shit just for the sake of doing so. T400B may seem inspired by the Italian neorealism, but overall Truffaut's films could have been made even in the classic Hollywood era. The experimentation associated with the French New Wave seems to be much more of a Godard thing than a Truffaut thing, and I mean that completely as a positive for Truffaut and negative for Godard.

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« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2015, 10:50:09 AM »

Btw ... With all the talk about the New Wavve artsy fartsy shit, to me Godard seems to be much more of a guy who played around with shit just for the sake of doing so. T400B may seem inspired by the Italian neorealism, but overall Truffaut's films could have been made even in the classic Hollywood era. The experimentation associated with the French New Wave seems to be much more of a Godard thing than a Truffaut thing, and I mean that completely as a positive for Truffaut and negative for Godard.

Godard's work became pretty quickly mainly about experimentation (he even admitted somewhere that he was afraid of doing a by-the-book movie) and Truffaut definitely knew his classics but he still experimented a LOT. Let's say, among others:

- Jump cuts
- Self-aware movies (meta cinema)
- Ultra modern narration (Jules et Jim was Scorsese's inspiration for the use of voice over in The Goodfellas 30 years later)
- Improvisation
- New Wave lighting (indirect lighting with hard lights aiming at the ceiling)

The thing is that Truffaut hated spending time in the editing room (according to his editor) so he never got to experiment as much as Godard in there.

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