Sunday, 8 May 2011

The Letter That Ended A Friendship

Here is the trailer for Truffaut's 1973 Film Day For Night (La Nuit Americaine). Today, it is one of his most critically celebrated works, and is regarded as one of the best Films about the practice of making Films. At the time of its release however it was critically savaged by Truffaut's old New Wave critical and cinematic collaborator, Jean-Luc Godard, who throughout the 1960's had become increasingly disenchanted with what he viewed as the commercial constraints on cinematic art, to the extent that after his critique of French bourgeois society in Weekend (1967) he had largely abandoned making conventional Feature's with even the most cursory of narrative structures, in preference for overtly Political Cinematic tracts-which were laregely influenced/underscored by his burgeoning Marxist-Leninist convictions. Truffaut, however had never given up on the potential of the cinematic form in regard to conveying his romantic and literary preoccupations (and paying homage to his cinematic idols). Such preoccuptaions occasionally led him to produce work which so romanticised some of the more mundane aspects of male/female relationships that they very nearly strayed into territory hitherto reserved for what could be classified as 'Woman's Pictures'. More often than not however, his Films stayed on the right side of the line in regard to the narrative prominence accorded to such concerns. Still he and Godard had been travelling in such discordant directions cinematically during the late 1960's/early 1970's that perhaps some sort of fracture in their previously close friendship was inevitable, such was the extent to which their artistic lives impacted upon their interpersonal ones.         


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