Day For Night

Day For Night (Nuit Américaine)
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The Award winning "Day for Night"* is the renowned director François Truffaut's love homage to film making. It is filmed as if it is a documentary, demonstrating everything that goes into creating a professional movie. In painstaking detail, Truffaut cajoles and soothes his leading actors, stroking egos and culling true performances.

Jacqueline Bisset is the ingenue, delicate as any fragile movie star and in need of as much attention. Of special note is Truffaut's sympathetic work with older film diva Valentina Cortese. She can't remember her lines among other troubles and the gentle way he helps her along is rather poignant. The film they are all supposedly working on is "Je Vous Presente, Pamela (Meet Pamela)" a melodrama chronicling a young man (Jean-Pierre Léaud) in love. He introduces his current love (Bisset) to his parents only to lose her to his father (Jean-Pierre Aumont).

Off-screen, reality is as dramatic as on-screen. Real life wives lament actor morality, as everyone inevitably sleeps around. Stars get hysterical, the crew is overworked, the director (played by Truffaut himself) wears an earpiece which isolates him from the chaos, enabling him to stay profoundly creative, as evidenced by the many cinematic books he devours on great film directors. We also witness flashbacks to him as a child stealing photos from a movie theater, his first true love.

It is a wonderful and true depiction of the work that goes into the crazy business called show. Warmly touching, sans cynicism, we are treated to a very private look into the volatile lives of passionate actors and while the characters are fictional, they represent actual cinematic beings. And who doesn't want to know more about them? Well worth seeing, especially for film fanatics and for those of you not so familiar, this may inspire you to learn more about it. And don't mind the subtitles - they're good for you.

Jacqueline Bisset (Julie)
Valentina Cortese (Severine)
Dani (Liliane)
Alexandra Stewart (Stacey)
Jean-Pierre Aumont (Alexandre)
Jean Champion (Bertrand)
Jean-Pierre Léaud (Alphonse)
François Truffaut (Ferrand)
Nike Arrighi (Odile)
Nathalie Baye (Joelle)
David Markham (Dr. Nelson)
Bernard Menez (Bernard)
Gaston Joly (Lajoie)
Zenaide Rossi (Madame Lajoie)

François Truffaut
Jean-Louis Richard
Suzanne Schiffman
Release Date: September 7, 1973

*Day for night, also known as nuit américaine ("American night"), is the name of a cinematographic technique to simulate a night scene.

The DVD:
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