For Reel

Day for Night (1973)
March 30, 2016, 4:34 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: François Truffaut
4 Stars
Day for NightA fictional director played by François Truffaut summarizes the practice of filmmaking as follows: “Shooting a movie is like a stagecoach trip: at first you hope for a nice ride, then you just hope to reach your destination.” In Day for Night, the director’s job is perceived as being not just the head of a precariously balanced forced community, but a person who must field a constant onslaught of questions he doesn’t have the answer for. And yet, as maddeningly as Truffaut paints the practice of moviemaking, it is as warm and affectionate as any in Truffaut’s ouevere—by this period of his career, he was an artist unafraid to deal with the overtly sentimental (including 1976’s Small Change and even, a year later, appearing in a significant role in Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind). On three occassions throughout the picture,Truffaut cuts to a black-and-white dream sequence in which a young boy steals Citizen Kane advertisements. Later, the same glee is seen when the film’s director receives a shipment of books about filmmaking, serving as a roll call of the most touted filmmakers of North America and Europe. It would be a simplification to suggest that Day for Night is obsessed with quality cinema. It refers to an obsession of the very art of filmmaking, where to be on set—ANY set—is the ultimate goal for a film lover.

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