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 Post subject: Francois Truffaut
PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2010 1:28 am 
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FRANÇOIS TRUFFAUT
(1932-1984), French

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"François Truffaut was one of five young French film critics, writing for André Bazin's Cahiers du Cinema in the early 1950s, who became the leading French filmmakers of their generation...Unlike his friend and contemporary, Jean-Luc Godard, Truffaut remained consistently committed to his highly formal themes of art and life, film and fiction, youth and education, art and education, rather than venturing into radical political critiques of film forms and film imagery."
- International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers

"A passionately romantic humanist like Renoir, Truffaut was also a devout admirer of the skills of Hitchcock, which he attempted to emulate in several of his own thrillers. He published a book of a series of interviews he conducted with Hitchcock, whom he repeatedly identified as his idol, but temperamentally and emotionally his affinity with Renoir seemed to be the stronger side of his split artistic personality."
- The MacMillan International Film Encyclopedia


FILMOGRAPHY
1955 Une Visite
1957 Les Mistons
1959 The 400 Blows
1960 Shoot the Piano Player
1961 Une histoire d'eau
1962 Jules et Jim
1962 Love at Twenty (Segment: Antoine and Colette)
1964 The Soft Skin
1966 Fahrenheit 451
1968 The Bride Wore Black
1968 Stolen Kisses
1969 Mississippi Mermaid
1970 The Wild Child
1970 Bed and Board
1971 Two English Girls
1973 Such a Gorgeous Kid Like Me
1973 Day for Night
1975 The Story of Adele H.
1977 Small Change
1977 The Man Who Loved Women
1978 The Green Room
1979 Love on the Run
1980 The Last Metro
1981 The Woman Next Door
1983 Confidentially Yours


Recommended First Watch: The 400 Blows


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 Post subject: Re: Francois Truffaut
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 1:01 pm 
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Updated.


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 Post subject: Re: Francois Truffaut
PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 8:17 pm 
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Day for night for Red. Most def.


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 Post subject: Re: Francois Truffaut
PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 8:38 pm 
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besides being a G in filmmaking and knowing wassup with Hitch, Truffaut was probably one of the better critics to come out of the Cahiers du Cinema. His films are cool and all, but I look at him more for being just a representative for the pure joy of being a film lover in general, which only sometimes reflects in his films (more so in the beginning of his career)


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 Post subject: Re: Francois Truffaut
PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 8:39 pm 
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Shoot the Piano Player is love of cinema embodied.


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 Post subject: Re: Francois Truffaut
PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 8:41 pm 
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definitely, I may like it better than 400 blows, but then I'm always tossed because of Blows' addicting, unifying score


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 Post subject: Re: Francois Truffaut
PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 6:28 pm 
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Added The 400 Blows as recommended first watch.


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 Post subject: Re: Francois Truffaut
PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 8:22 pm 
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Noticed an interesting, almost Rosebudian, structuralist function while watching The 400 Blows for my Film History class. There is one classroom scene where a boy is attempted to speak English and instead of "beach" says "bitch". In this same scene, Antoine's mother (a bitch) shows up. Later, when deciding where to send Antoine, she asks the correction officer out of nowhere if he can be sent somewhere near the sea. And of course, at the end of the film Antoine runs to the beach/the bitch. I think you can only go so far with this reading but it is a possible, and at least for me, interesting one (among others).


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 Post subject: Re: Francois Truffaut
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 1:47 pm 
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Bed and Board is really good. I'm surprised it isn't bolded.


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 Post subject: Re: Francois Truffaut
PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2014 9:02 pm 
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Dreww wrote:
Noticed an interesting, almost Rosebudian, structuralist function while watching The 400 Blows for my Film History class. There is one classroom scene where a boy is attempted to speak English and instead of "beach" says "bitch". In this same scene, Antoine's mother (a bitch) shows up. Later, when deciding where to send Antoine, she asks the correction officer out of nowhere if he can be sent somewhere near the sea. And of course, at the end of the film Antoine runs to the beach/the bitch. I think you can only go so far with this reading but it is a possible, and at least for me, interesting one (among others).


I was looking into this reading for a small class assignment and found out that someone had also made the connection of la mer ("sea") and la mere ("mother"). So I don't think what you were onto here three years ago is all that farfetched. What I'm left wondering is how the ending should be interpreted in light of this meaningful word grouping.

Antoine does run to the beach/the bitch, yes, but I think he runs to the beach more so to see the sea itself. (The mother's mention of the sea doesn't strictly come out of nowhere; Antoine expresses his fascination with the sea to René in an earlier scene, so it is plausible that the mother would be aware of her son's interest in her request.) The person who made the la mer/la mere connection thought it possible to interpret the ending as Antoine running to a subsitute maternal love. I'm not fully satisfied with the reading, seeing as when Antoine actually reaches the water, he turns away from it and you get the iconic distressed freeze-frame.

I originally thought that the sea might simply represent the potential for freedom that Antoine suddenly has, having escaped. In this sense, the beach would still be considered land and thus tied to the bitch of a mother he is trying to leave behind. Taking both readings into account, the turning away suggests that Antoine does not find personal reconciliation of any kind at the seashore, neither in the form of affection (the substitute love de la mere/la mer) nor emancipation (escape from the bitch/the beach). He is left in an unsure suspended state, in desperate need of a third outcome.


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 Post subject: Re: Francois Truffaut
PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2014 10:04 pm 
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Gonna go hard in the paint on pretentious symbolical analysis that I usually don't like, but this film demands it.

For me the scene at the sea and the disillusionment in how he turns around is I think a kind of existentialist statement. Life not as a final battle won but Sisyphus constantly pushing the rock up the hill. The sea represents all kinds of things but the point is that all the things it might represent are meant to be end goals, that are supposed to have a kind of satisfying finality that, according to the film, doesn't really exist. The sea could be just the beauty of the sea, the sea could represent liberation, the sea could represent maternal mother's love--an expression of the death drive (the sea is also associated symbolically with death) which is the unconscious wish to return to the womb/an immaterial state of pure freedom. Living in a culture that programs us to go for some kind of "final solution" through various narratives, we are surprised, as Antoine is, when the thing we unconsciously thought would bring us such satisfaction, be it this or that actual thing or this or that abstract ideal, ends up not fulfilling us. Our drives for these feelings/places/states take various forms. The typical Freudian stance would be that the healthy, non-neurotic individual realizes consciously or unconsciously that his desire for death/immateriality/the womb/a return to innocence has to be rerouted and projected back onto the temporary, fleeting, moment-by-moment satisfactions of life. Rather than return to the mother's womb/death, the mature drive is turned into a drive towards sex/procreation/making a contribution to society. Maybe the rest of the Antoine films show his progression from disillusionment with final answers towards a willingness to engage life.

Notice how often I used the word drive in this post, and my obsession with other films heavily associated with driving and fucked up sexuality (Taxi Driver, Drive, The Brown Bunny). I think as long as I don't start writing essays on the Fast and Furious series I'm okay.


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 Post subject: Re: Francois Truffaut
PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2014 7:11 am 
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Dreww wrote:
Gonna go hard in the paint on pretentious symbolical analysis that I usually don't like, but this film demands it.

For me the scene at the sea and the disillusionment in how he turns around is I think a kind of existentialist statement. Life not as a final battle won but Sisyphus constantly pushing the rock up the hill. The sea represents all kinds of things but the point is that all the things it might represent are meant to be end goals, that are supposed to have a kind of satisfying finality that, according to the film, doesn't really exist. The sea could be just the beauty of the sea, the sea could represent liberation, the sea could represent maternal mother's love--an expression of the death drive (the sea is also associated symbolically with death) which is the unconscious wish to return to the womb/an immaterial state of pure freedom. Living in a culture that programs us to go for some kind of "final solution" through various narratives, we are surprised, as Antoine is, when the thing we unconsciously thought would bring us such satisfaction, be it this or that actual thing or this or that abstract ideal, ends up not fulfilling us. Our drives for these feelings/places/states take various forms. The typical Freudian stance would be that the healthy, non-neurotic individual realizes consciously or unconsciously that his desire for death/immateriality/the womb/a return to innocence has to be rerouted and projected back onto the temporary, fleeting, moment-by-moment satisfactions of life. Rather than return to the mother's womb/death, the mature drive is turned into a drive towards sex/procreation/making a contribution to society. Maybe the rest of the Antoine films show his progression from disillusionment with final answers towards a willingness to engage life.

Notice how often I used the word drive in this post, and my obsession with other films heavily associated with driving and fucked up sexuality (Taxi Driver, Drive, The Brown Bunny). I think as long as I don't start writing essays on the Fast and Furious series I'm okay.


Well I don't think I can contest much of this really. And I prefer this kind of reading as well where the essence-distilling, often symbol-heavy significations (that pettily vie for more explanative power than the next one; "what does the sea represent") are maybe engaged with initially and then more or less made null in favor of a more elusive and process-driven truth - one that is primarily experienced by both character and viewer. I feel like my conclusion hinted at something similar, but maybe I should have followed up on it.

I am somewhat confused by the categories of opposing pursuits you set up though. Just to touch on the bolded (and I realize you specify that the view is Freudian and, by that token, not necessarily fully shared by you): Do you not think someone could treat these as a kind of "final solution" just as well? Like having finally procreated or having written that impactful book or having passed that important law, could one not emerge as unfulfilled as from any other activity? I'm guessing the heart of the issue here is more about how goals are approached rather than what they are (altogether, including the Freudian ideals).


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