Tag Archives: François Truffaut


I had better sex with other guys while thinking of him.

The quote above—a characteristic aside from one of the female leads in Louis Garrel’s A FAITHFUL MAN, the actor’s second turn in the director’s chair—refers to Abel (Garrel), a man of little agency in a romantic game of chance, seemingly happy to shuttle between Marianne (Laetitia Casta) and Ève (Lily-Rose Depp).

Abel and Marianne were lovers, until she announces—in the film’s first few minutes—that she is pregnant, and the father is their close friend Paul. Fast forward a decade and Paul has just died. Abel reconnects with Marianne at his funeral—a reunion witnessed by both Joseph (Marianne and Paul’s son, played by Joseph Engel), and Paul’s younger sister Ève, who has always had an unrequited crush on Abel.

We are deep in Rohmer and Truffaut territory—narrators voicing internal thoughts, chamber music on the soundtrack, a sense of timeless suspension in an everyday, non-touristic Paris—and Garrel (son of Philippe) and co-writer Jean-Claude Carrière (a Buñuel veteran) are indeed faithful to their antecedents, giving audiences a contemporary nouvelle vague experience and keeping the proceedings 100% français. (Even the Hollywood noir that Marianne and Abel go out to see is dubbed in French, which would not be the case in an actual Left Bank revival house.*)

 A FAITHFUL MAN is a piece of cinematic driftwood, smooth and lovely, kept afloat by its players’ charms. Selfishness and betrayal are expressed and accepted with hushed discretion. Complete happiness is not exactly on the menu, but fidelity to independence, choice, and the freedom to make mistakes is its own reward.


Through August 8.

Laemmle Royal

11523 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Los Angeles.

Wednesday, August 21, at 7:30 pm.

South Bay Film Society

AMC Rolling Hills

2591 Airport Drive, Torrance.

*The Strange Love of Martha Ivers, starring Van Heflin and Barbara Stanwyck.

A Faithful Man/L’Homme fidele, from top: Louis Garrel and Laetitia Casta; Casta; Joseph Engel; Lily-Rose Depp; Garrel and Depp; U.S. poster; Garrel on set. Images courtesy and © the filmmakers, the actors, and Kino Lorber.


Image result for michael b jordan fahrenheit 451

“You’re still high on kerosene, aren’t you? I can smell it from here.” – Beatty to Guy Montag, in FAHRENHEIT 451

In a world where Frederick Douglass remains alive, well, and discredited (at least among a disingenuous White House cadre), the news that Benjamin Franklin – founder of the first American fire department – gave license to burn is less than surprising.

Intelligence is suspect, facts confuse and divide us, and memories can only bring on depression. The solutions are mandatory medication and the eternal flame of vigilance as a Praetorian guard of fireman – led by Beatty (Michael Shannon) and his protégé Guy Montag (Michael B. Jordan) – fans out over the city on a search-and-destroy mission to destroy unauthorized hard drives.

On a good night, the uniformed flamethrowers hit the holy grail: rooms full of actual books. The look, the feel, the sensuality of printed paper bound between covers prove too alluring for young Montag. Out of a particularly vivid bonfire he surreptitiously rescues a copy of Dostoyevsky’s Notes from the Underground and smuggles it back home. And a light turns on in his head.

Writer/director Ramin Bahrani’s new version of Ray Bradbury’s classic 1953 novel FAHRENHEIT 451 – Bradbury’s confrontation with the specters of McCarthyism and television – screens on HBO this weekend. When François Truffaut filmed the book in 1966, the Vietnam War was escalating, but Watergate was still in the future. In our dark, new age of fake-fake news and institutional kleptocracy, Bradbury’s extraordinary prescience rings truer than ever.

During a Film Independent at LACMA screening earlier this month, Bahrani talked with program curator Elvis Mitchell about his latest work.

“I wanted to risk a lot with this film, and more daunting than [the version by] Truffaut was Bradbury himself and the book..

“Like people first read FAHRENHEIT 451 in high school, I wanted to make a film that would impact high-school students today. This is not a movie about the future. It’s a movie about an alternate tomorrow.”


FAHRENHEIT 451, Saturday, May 19, at 8 pm, on HBO.



See: thedailybeast.com/michael-shannon-on-fahrenheit-451

Above: Michael Shannon (left) and Michael B. Jordan in Fahrenheit 451. Image credit: HBO.

Below: Ramin Bahrani (left) and Elvis Mitchell, Film Independent at LACMA Fahrenheit 451 post-screening Q & A, Bing Theater, LACMA, May 3, 2018.

Ramin Bahrani, Elvis Mitchell, MS, Stage



On the list of the best movies about making movies – Minnelli’s The Bad and the Beautiful, Cukor’s A Star is Born, Fassbinder’s Beware of a Holy Whore, Fellini’s –  François Truffaut’s DAY FOR NIGHT invariably lands near the top.

(The title refers to the practice of shooting a night scene during daylight hours, using a blue filter to screen out the brightness.)

This week, at Laemmle’s 45th anniversary screening of the film, Jacqueline Bisset will talk about her work with Truffaut on the picture.


DAY FOR NIGHT, Thursday, May 10, at 7:30 pm.

LAEMMLE ROYAL, 11523 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Los Angeles.


Below: Jean-Pierre Léaud and Jacqueline Bisset in Day for Night. Image credit: Warner Bros.

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Jean-Pierre Léaud (fifty-eight years after The 400 Blows):

“When Albert Serra offered me the role of Louis XIV, I said to myself that this film would mean a great deal to me, in my life and in my filmography. I said to myself that I must succeed, with all the energy that’s in me. So I was in Louis XIV’s bed, trapped within an apparatus of three cameras that filmed me continuously from eight in the morning until eight in the evening, every single day. Even though the apparatus was hard to put up with, I hung on until the end. Any other actor would have said, ‘This is too much. I can’t make it.’ Well, I decided to make it.

“Through this apparatus, I stepped into the shoes of an old man in his death throes, and you cannot avoid personal repercussions if you play someone like that. And that’s when I began to feel the proximity of my own death and realized that Serra was recording my own death through Louis XIV’s. At my age, you cannot banish death from your life. I was reminded of Jean Cocteau’s quote: ‘Cinema is death at work.’ ”*

LA MORT DE LOUIS XIV/THE DEATH OF LOUIS XIV (2016), is directed by Albert Serra, and written by Serra and Thierry Lounas.

The film screens daily at 4:45 pm only, through June 15, at the Laemmle Music Hall, 9036 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills.

*Yonca Talu, “The Long Goodbye: An interview with Jean-Pierre Léaud,” Film Comment, March/April 2017.

(Top) Jean-Pierre Léaud in The 400 Blows, directed by François Truffaut. Image credit: Janus Films.

(Bottom) Jean-Pierre Léaud in the title role of La Mort de Louis XIV. Image credit: Capricci Films.

Jean-Pierre Léaud in The 400 Blows, directed by François Truffaut. Image credit: Janus Films.

Jean-Pierre Léaud in nthe title role of La Mort de Louis XIV. Image credit: Capricci Films