Sunday, December 14, 2008

Day for Night

Truffaut’s Day for Night is his love letter to the magic of making films. The making-of-the-film sequences reminded me of Dziga Vertov’s The Man with a Movie Camera with the music and the camera movements. All seems to be well but we do not see what is behind the surface. Out of that sequence, we see an insecure actress, a lovesick actor, a drunk older actress, and a lackluster script. Yet, Truffaut’s character Ferrand finds a way to make it work harmoniously. He has to justify his love of filmmaking somehow. He will deal with the drama on set in order to create drama on film.

I would like to think that Truffaut casting himself as the director of a melodramatic script does not mean that he has somehow made peace with commercially written/shot films. Unfortunately, as I am writing this in hindsight, I should have seen it as a sign of the commercial melodrama of The Story of Adele H. In fact, the plot of Meet Pamela resembles a soap opera with the woman who is involved with the son yet is attracted to the father. Although the scene with Delarue’s score playing while Ferrand shifts through books of directors known for taking artistic risks shows that he seems interested in taking Meet Pamela in an artistic direction, I do not think that the film ended up being an exercise of cinematic techniques like Truffaut’s other films. Yet, I do not see this film as a cop-out. Again, I think that Truffaut is mocking commercial directors for a lack of imagination but with an understanding that they both share a love of the cinema.

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