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The Films In My Life

Read any good books lately?

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ChiO
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The Films In My Life

Postby ChiO » June 29th, 2010, 11:12 am

The Films in My Life is a collection of the writings by Francois Truffaut, as selected by him in 1975. It has an introductory essay by him and six chapters: "The Big Secret" (influential directors who started in silents and remained active in talkies), "The Generation of the Talkies: The Americans" and "The Generation of the Talkies: The French", "Hurrah for the Japanese Cinema", "Some Outsiders", and "My Friends in the New Wave". Each chapter is organized by director, in alphabetical order (Be still, my auteurist heart!). Truffaut notes in his introduction that his focus was on his positive, enthusiastic writings (a few negative comments are included, including a venomous review of ANASTASIA: Don't go to see this cynical and mediocre film. Anatole Litvak despises you; despise him back.).

Generally the articles, reviews and essays are, however, positive, enthusiastic and sometimes bordering on the worshipful, with certain directors (Chaplin, Vigo, Renoir, Hawks) being referenced throughout the book, regardless of the topic at hand. Most interesting to me was when Truffaut goes on a tangent that deals more with his philosophy of film rather than praise of a director: The quest for authenticity in art is like climbing a ladder with no end; chastising critics and audiences who fuss over perceived flaws in casting, writing or editing rather than taking a film as a whole; a "good" film is not about a lack of flaws, but is about discovery.

The absolute joy that Truffaut finds in the potential of cinema is contagious. And, he makes me want to explore the New Wave, and its forebears, in more depth than I've given it.
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charliechaplinfan
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Re: The Films In My Life

Postby charliechaplinfan » June 29th, 2010, 1:40 pm

This sounds a very interesting book. I have Truffaut's book on Hitchcock waiting to be appreciated. I'd be interested in your on this book.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

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Sue Sue Applegate
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Re: The Films In My Life

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » June 29th, 2010, 2:52 pm

This sounds like a great read, Chio. Thanks for the review.

I enjoyed what you wrote about Truffaut believing that is important to perceive the film as a single work of art:

"The quest for authenticity in art is like climbing a ladder with no end; chastising critics and audiences who fuss over perceived flaws in casting, writing or editing rather than taking a film as a whole; a "good" film is not about a lack of flaws, but is about discovery."
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