François Truffaut

06.02.1932, Paris - 21.10.1984, Neuilly-sur-Seine

 

Director
Truffaut was a French director, screenwriter, producer and film critic. Along with Jean-Luc Godard and Claude Chabrol he was the main representative of the French New Wave.
At the age of 16 he founded and managed his film club, Cercle cinémanie. Three years later he started to collaborate with the magazine Cahiers du cinéma thanks to the famous film critic and theoretician, André Bazin. He made his first short film, Un visite, in 1955. However, he was not satisfied with it at all and immediately made his next short film. Afterwards, he made his feature film debut with The 400 Blows (Les quatre cents coups, 1959) which earned him an award at the Cannes Film Festival and attracted attention to his works. The protagonist of that film, Antoine Doinel, is Truffaut’s alter-ego. We also follow his coming of age in the segment Antoine et Colete in the omnibus Love at Twenty (L\'amour ŕ vingt ans, 1962) as well as in the films Stolen Kisses (Les baisers volés, 1968), Bed and Board (Domicile conjugal, 1970) and Love on the Run (L\' amour en fuite, 1979). His other famous films include Jules and Jim (Jules et Jim,1962), Two English Girls and the Continent (Les deux anglaises et le continent, 1971), The Woman Next Door (La femme d\'ŕ côté, 1981) and The Last Metro (Le dernier métro, 1980) which won the French César award for Best Film, Director and Adapted Screenplay. In all these films the protagonists are individuals who deal with love and the problems it causes for them. He moved away from the usual topic of love in his films Shoot the Pianist (Tirez sur le pianiste, 1960), The Bride Wore Black (La mariée était en noir 1968), Confidentially Yours (Vivement dimanche!, 1983), a thriller that is a sort of an homage to Alfred Hitchcock. He directed Fahrenheit 451 (1966), a film adaptation of the sci-fi novel by Ray Bradbury, and Day for Night (La nuit américane 1973) which won an Oscar for Best Foreign Film in 1974.

Filmography


Films by this director

The 400 Blows

(Les quatre cents coups, France, 1959)

Directed by: François Truffaut
PHOTOGRAPHY: Henri Decaë
Synopsis:

This is the first part of the saga about Antoine Doinel, a 12 year old boy from Paris whose life with his family and in school is not at a great state. His parents neglect him and he ditches school in order to go to the movies and play with his friends. Antoine Doinel’s character is based on Truffaut himself and this film was praised as one of the best films of the French New Wave.

b/w, 99'

Shoot the Pianist

(Tirez sur le pianiste, 1960)

Directed by: François Truffaut
PHOTOGRAPHY: Raoul Coutard
Synopsis:

The protagonist of this film is Charlie Kohler, a piano player, who hides from his own life playing in a bar. Once he was famous for his talent but everything changed after his wife’s suicide. His past will catch up with him when his brother shows up in the bar, on the run from two gangsters.

b/w, 80 min

Jules and Jim

(Jules et Jim, 1962)

Directed by: François Truffaut
PHOTOGRAPHY: Raoul Coutard
Synopsis:

This is a story about an unhappy and long-lasting love triangle between two friends, Jules and Jim, and a girl, Catherine. In Paris in 1900, both young men fall in love with Catherine. She chooses the shy and conservative Austrian Jules and marries him. After WW II, they all meet again in Germany and then Catherine starts to fall in love with the extroverted Jim.

b/w, 105'

The Soft Skin

(La peau douce, 1964)

Directed by: François Truffaut
PHOTOGRAPHY: Raoul Coutard
Synopsis:

This is a love drama about a successful and happily married publisher who meets a charming stewardess Nicole. Soon, they become lovers. Even though Pierre tries to hide his affair from his wife France and daughter Sabine, he soon realizes that he will have to choose between Nicole and France.

35 mm, b/w, 113 min

Fahrenheit 451

(Great Britain, 1966)

Directed by: François Truffaut
PHOTOGRAPHY: Nicolas Roeg
Synopsis:

This is a film adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s sci-fi novel. The story takes place in the future in a world in which owning and reading books is strictly forbidden. Firefighters are, instead of fires, in charge of burning of books. People spend their time high on drugs in front of television. In such a totalitarian society, a firefighter Guy Montag develops an interest in reading books…

color, 35 mm, 112 min

Stolen Kisses

(Les baisers volés, 1968)

Directed by: François Truffaut
PHOTOGRAPHY: Denys Clerval
Synopsis:

In 1968, Antoine is discharged from military and returns home to Paris. He meets Christine Darbon, who he has been in love before, and goes to her parent’s house for dinner. Thanks to her father he gets a job in a hotel, but soon is fired. Afterwards he starts to work in a detective agency and then in a shoe store. At the same time he develops his relationship with Christine.

color, 90 min

The Bride Wore Black

(La mariée était en noir, 1968)

Directed by: François Truffaut
PHOTOGRAPHY: Raoul Coutard
Synopsis:

This film is Truffaut’s ode to Hitchcock’s films. It is thriller in which Julie Kohler is a cruel widow who decides to avenge her husband’s death. She leaves her hometown and decides to kill the five men who are responsible for her husband’s death. Has she found the right persons?

color, 107 minuta

Bed and Board

(Domicile conjugal, 1970)

Directed by: François Truffaut
PHOTOGRAPHY: Néstor Almendros
Synopsis:

In this film Antoine is 26 years old and married to Christine. She teaches violin and he changes many jobs. They are going to have a baby and the small family seems idyllic until Antoine meets a Japanese woman, Kyoko, at work and starts an affair with her…

color, 100 min

Two English Girls and the Continent

(Les deux anglaises et le continent, 1971)

Directed by: François Truffaut
PHOTOGRAPHY: Néstor Almendros
Synopsis:

This is a romantic drama taking place in the beginning of the 20th century. It is a story about a love triangle between Claude and two sisters, Anne and Muriel. Claude is a middle-class young man from Paris who meets an English woman, Anne, in Paris. The two of them become close and she invites him to her house for the holidays. There he meets her mother and the sister that Anne intended for Claude...

color, 108 min

The Man Who Loved Women

(L' homme qui aimait les femmes, 1977)

Directed by: François Truffaut
PHOTOGRAPHY: Néstor Almendros
Synopsis:

The film begins with the funeral of Bertrand Morane, a forty year old engineer. All of his former lovers come to the funeral. During his life, Bertrand had always had women on his mind and as much as he loved them, they loved him too. Bertrand himself tells his story.

color, 120 min

Love on the Run

(L' amour en fuite, 1979)

Directed by: François Truffaut
PHOTOGRAPHY: Néstor Almendros
Synopsis:

This is the fifth and last part of the films about Antoine Doinel in which he meets people from his past. Now he is 30 and is getting a divorce from Christine. He is in love with Sabine who sells records. Soon he meets his old love, Colette, who is now a lawyer. He has also published an autobiography…

b/w and color, 94 min

The Last Metro

(Le dernier métro, 1980)

Directed by: François Truffaut
PHOTOGRAPHY: Néstor Almendros
Synopsis:

The story takes place during WW II in a theatre in the middle of occupied Paris. In the theater basement there hides Lucas Steiner, a Jew who fears for his life. His wife, actress Marion Steiner, tries to keep the theater open and hires Bernard Granger as the main actor in the new play.

color, 131 min

The Woman Next Door

(La femme d'a côté, 1981)

Directed by: François Truffaut
PHOTOGRAPHY: William Lubtchansky
Synopsis:

Bernard Coudray is happily married to Arlette and they have a son, Thomas. His life will be turned upside down when Philippe Bauchard and his wife Mathilde move in to their neighborhood. Namely, years ago Bernard and Mathilde had a passionate love affair. Their meeting will ignite their old emotions and they start an affair again…

color, 106 min

Confidentially Yours

(Vivement dimanche!, 1983)

Directed by: François Truffaut
PHOTOGRAPHY: Néstor Almendros
Synopsis:

This is François Truffaut’s last film starring Jean-Louis Trintignant. He plays Julien Vercel, a real estate agent who is the prime suspect for the murder of Claude Massoulier. When the police find out that Vercel’s wife was Massoulier’s lover, Julien will be in trouble. His secretary, Barbara, starts her own investigation in order to find the real murderer…

b/w, 110 min

American Night

(La nuit américaine, 1973)

Directed by: François Truffaut
PHOTOGRAPHY: Pierre-William Glenn
Synopsis:

We follow a diverse film crew on the set of the melodrama Je Vous Présente Paméla. Here are the former diva Séverine who drinks too much and forgets her lines, legendary film lover Alexandre who keeps running off to the airport in expectation of a certain young man, jealous French actor Alphonse who hires a woman he is in love with, British actress Julie who is recovering from a nervous breakdown and many others… In 1974, the film won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film.

b/w and color, 115 min
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