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The Films in My Life Paperback – August 22, 1994

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Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French

About the Author

François Truffaut (1932-1984), left a legacy of beloved and influential films that include The 400 Blows, Jules and Jim, Stolen Kisses, Day for Night, and The Story of Adele H.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 358 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; Reprint edition (August 22, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306805995
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306805998
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #598,450 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Ben Parker on March 29, 2004
Format: Paperback
Originally published 1975. 358 pages including index, contents and short list of Truffaut's films.
I refuse to write this review after i've finished the entire book, because i refuse to admit that one day there could be no more of it to read. This is a film buff's dream book. Truffaut was a great filmmaker - his 400 Blows is one of the most beautifully told simple stories of adolescence ever. A sensitive, personal film. His film criticism, if possible, is better than his films. Truffaut had such a love for cinema, and this passion comes across in his writing more so than in his films.
This book is great to just dip into. It is a collection of essays, published and unpublished, expressing his opinion in a playful, fun, yet always intelligent way, of various individual films and entire careers. Included are pieces on the body of work of Chaplin, Welles, Jean Vigo, Jean Renoir, Humphrey Bogart, James Dean, John Ford, Fritz Lang, Frank Capra, Bunuel, Bergman, Fellini, Rossellini, plus many short subjects on individual films by many French new wave filmmakers (Resnais's Night and Fog and Muriel, Vadim's And God Created Woman, Godard's My Life to Live and All Boys... Patrick, as well as some Bresson, Guitry, Tati, Melville, Dassin, Becker, Clouzot and a few others) and American directors of talkies mainly from the 40's and 50's (including Billy Wilder, Elia Kazan, Kubrick's Paths of Glory, Laughton's Night of the Hunter, Lumet's 12 Angry Men, Barefoot Contessa, Bounjour Tristesse and more).
Truffaut died in 1984, and this book was published in 1975 in english, but it doesn't talk about any movie after 1960 (i think), so bear that in mind - this is a chronicle of that period of cinema, which i wasn't that interested in when i bought the book, but it very quickly cultivated an interest in me. So even if you don't know much about movies before 1960, you'll find this book fascinating, and perhaps even inspiring.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 16, 1998
Format: Paperback
A film critic and director, Francois Truffaut, brings the reader into an almost literary expositon on films and how they affect us. He takes film beyond its bounds by noting the joys and sorrows directors have put into their creations. Truffaut, as a great director himself, discusses directors and actors like Hitchcock, Renoir, Bergman, Kazin, Welles, Wilder, and many others. What impressed me about the book was the compassion Truffaut has for film making. He brings out the nuances that I failed to notice in great films. For instance, in his discussion of Citizen Kane, he brings out the parallelism between Charles Foster Kane's mother and his love for Susan Alexander by saying Alexander was areplacemnent for his separated mother. And of course rosebud and the snow dome create the crux for such parallels to show uo. In his review for Kane, he brings out such nuances that only a well-carved critic and director could do. Those out there who enjoy film and all its! ! complexities will enjoy this book. A Frenchman discovers what made such films great in so many people's eyes: Rear Window, 8 1/2, The Seven Year Itch, and many other great films. I love Truffaut, so reading what he likes and dislikes was a sheer pleasure - sumptuous at times!
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful By M. Maynard on November 26, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this entire book on a flight from London back to the U.S. When I got home, I rented/watched several of the movies mentioned by Truffaut (Rear Window, etc.) watching for the points he made. Many people don't know Truffaut was a journalist as well as a filmmaker. He was able to write as desriptively as his films were imaginative. My only complaint is that this is a book for serious film fans who have already seen the movies he reviews. If you haven't seen the films, his comments aren't referential enough to include you. But, that said, it will help you see many titles in a new way.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Truffaut's Reviews, Book Introductions, and short program pieces. Buried inside are all of his approaches and attitudes, and
even a description of how the New Wave got up and running. I recently referenced this work extensively for a lecture on the
New Wave for a Gallery Retrospective. Going to the source is sometimes the best place to start.
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