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10 Underseen Films By Alfred Hitchcock and François Truffaut

In 1962, two filmmakers met in a room at Universal Studios to discuss (what else?) cinema. Those directors were François Truffaut and Alfred Hitchcock. (Providing assistance was French-language translator Helen Scott.) Together, they talked for over 50 hours, poring over every film the old master ever made. In 1967, Truffaut published what has universally come to be known as an essential text, titled Hitchcock/Truffaut, which contains rich and detailed transcripts of the extraordinary conversation.

Filmmaker Kent Jones‘ documentary about this historic meeting of the minds is now out, which inspired The Film Stage to look back at some of the forgotten, overlooked, and underrated films from these two beloved directors. The following ten titles contain all of the nuance, mystery and joy that we’ve come to expect from Hitchcock and Truffaut, with many overlapping themes and stylistic sensibilities.

Please enjoy the list, and don’t forget to suggest your own favorites in the comments.
See full article at The Film Stage »

New on Video: ‘The Soft Skin’

The Soft Skin

Written by François Truffaut and Jean-Louis Richard

Directed by François Truffaut

France, 1964

Riding high on the critical reputation of the French New Wave (if not its consistent box office success), and with The 400 Blows (1959), Shoot the Piano Player (1960), and Jules and Jim (1962) behind him, François Truffaut’s fourth feature is something rather different. There is still the same cinematic playfulness, a combination of genuine skill, pervasive influence, and a rampant passion for the medium itself, but with The Soft Skin (1964), Truffaut slows things down somewhat, takes a breath, matures. That’s not to say there weren’t adult themes in his earlier films (most certainly there were in Jules and Jim), but here, the entire tone of the film feels more aged, more serious, as if Truffaut was for the first time making a film explicitly for grown-ups, not just featuring them.

Nominated for the Palme
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Criterion Collection: The Soft Skin | Blu-ray Review

  • ioncinema
This month, Criterion marches out a little know title from Francois Truffaut, 1964’s The Soft Skin. Technically his fifth feature, and following behind the monolithic success of Jules and Jim and the 1962 short “Antoine and Colette,” (which served as the second segment in what would flourish into his Antoine Doinel series), the feature did not receive a celebrated reception. Playing in competition at the 1964 Cannes Film Festival (marking the second and last time Truffaut would compete at the festival), the title has since lapsed into a sort of oblivion, which is not surprising considering the winner of the Palme d’Or that year was Jacques Demy’s musical confection, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (launching Catherine Deneuve in stardom, younger sister of Truffuat’s headlining actress, Françoise Dorleac, already a celebrity). Described by its creator as ‘an autopsy of adultery,’ it’s a cold, bitter film about a rather unappealing affair.
See full article at ioncinema »

Starmaker Allégret: From Gay Romance with 'Uncle' (and Nobel Winner) Gide to Simon's Movie Mentor

Marc Allégret: From André Gide lover to Simone Simon mentor (photo: Marc Allégret) (See previous post: "Simone Simon Remembered: Sex Kitten and Femme Fatale.") Simone Simon became a film star following the international critical and financial success of the 1934 romantic drama Lac aux Dames, directed by her self-appointed mentor – and alleged lover – Marc Allégret.[1] The son of an evangelical missionary, Marc Allégret (born on December 22, 1900, in Basel, Switzerland) was to have become a lawyer. At age 16, his life took a different path as a result of his romantic involvement – and elopement to London – with his mentor and later "adoptive uncle" André Gide (1947 Nobel Prize winner in Literature), more than 30 years his senior and married to Madeleine Rondeaux for more than two decades. In various forms – including a threesome with painter Théo Van Rysselberghe's daughter Elisabeth – the Allégret-Gide relationship remained steady until the late '20s and their trip to
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Denys de La Patellière obituary

French film director who attracted big stars and box-office success but was disdained by the Nouvelle Vague

Denys de La Patellière, who has died aged 92, was of the generation of French film directors described with ironic contempt by François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard and other critics turned Nouvelle Vague directors as representing le cinéma de papa. But De La Patellière had several huge box-office hits in France in the 1950s and 60s, featuring some of the biggest internationally known French stars of the period such as Lino Ventura, Danielle Darrieux, Michèle Mercier, Pierre Fresnay, Bernard Blier and, above all, Jean Gabin, whom he directed in six films.

"I was a commercial director, which for me is not a pejorative word," De La Patellière recalled. "I never had the ambition to become an auteur, but to make entertaining films that pleased general audiences." In a way, his first film, Les Aristocrates (1955), could
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Netflix Nuggets: Russians Filming G.I. Joe Dolls Fighting Hercules for the Serpent’s Egg

Netflix has revolutionized the home movie experience for fans of film with its instant streaming technology. Netflix Nuggets is my way of spreading the word about independent, classic and foreign films made available by Netflix for instant streaming.

This Week’s New Instant Releases…

Promised Lands (1974)

Streaming Available: 04/19/2011

Cast: Documentary

Director: Susan Sontag

Synopsis: Set in Israel during the final days of the 1973 Yom Kippur War, this powerful documentary — initially barred by Israel authorities — from writer-director Susan Sontag examines divergent perceptions of the enduring Arab-Israeli clash. Weighing in on matters related to socialism, anti-Semitism, nation sovereignty and American materialism are The Last Jew writer Yoram Kaniuk and military physicist Yuval Ne’eman.

Vision: From the Life of Hildegard von Bingen (2009)

Streaming Available: 04/19/2011

Cast: Barbara Sukowa, Heino Ferch, Hannah Herzsprung, Gerald Alexander Held, Lena Stolze, Sunnyi Melles

Synopsis: Directed by longtime star of independent German cinema Margarethe von Trotta, this reverent
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Why must action heroines wear S&M stripper outfits to kick butt?

Zack Snyder's adolescent Sucker Punch makes me wonder why female action stars can't have a happy medium between drab boiler suits and stay-up stockings

I often fantasise about kicking ass, but only now, with Sucker Punch, do I see I've been getting it wrong. For a genuine sense of empowerment, I should have been daydreaming about dancing in a brothel dressed in bustier and stay-up stockings. Or maybe imagining myself in a customised Japanese schoolgirl outfit with my navel showing. Which, of course, would frighten the horses. But thank you, Zack Snyder, for helping to set the standard by which women's fashion choices are judged.

Sucker Punch isn't based on a comic-strip or a computer game, though it might as well have been, since it peddles that male adolescent vision of female fetishwear now displayed in everything from rock videos to catwalks to Taylor Momsen gigs. You'd have thought Snyder,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Silken Skin – review

Initially released in 1964, La peau douce (aka Silken Skin) was Truffaut's fourth feature, the film in which he cast off the showy trappings associated with the first years of the Nouvelle Vague and became a truly mature film-maker. It applies Hitchcock's editing style and attention to significant detail to an exquisite study of the tragic affair between a married literary intellectual (a plausible, sympathetic Jean Desailly) and a beautiful young airline hostess. The lover (Françoise Dorléac, sister of Catherine Deneuve) is a cool blonde, the wife (Nelly Benedetti) a passionate brunette, the perplexed husband unsure of what he wants from love and life. Raoul Coutard's black-and-white images are splendid.

Francois TruffautWorld cinemaDramaPhilip French

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See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

This week's new films

The Fighter (15)

(David O Russell, 2010, Us) Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Melissa Leo, Mickey O'Keefe. 116 mins

Just when America needed a tale of blue-collar dreams, hard-up families coming together and a Hero with Heart, along comes this bracing boxing drama. What distinguishes it from Rocky and co is that it's based on a real boxer ("Irish" Micky Ward), and there's not much boxing in it. The emphasis is on Wahlberg's colourfully unhelpful family, particularly his formidable mother (Leo) and crack-addicted brother (Bale). There's so much big acting going on, our quiet contender can't compete, but hey, he's got Heart.

Rabbit Hole (12A)

(John Cameron Mitchell, 2010, Us) Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart, Dianne Wiest. 91 mins

A couple's marriage reaches breaking point after their son's death in an everyday trauma-drama that's carefully handled. Nothing too depressing, hysterical, boring or serious, but it's still emotional, and Kidman has never been better.

Brighton Rock (15)

(Rowan Joffe,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Silken Skin (La Peau Douce) – review

A welcome big-screen return for François Truffaut's passionate 1964 drama, starring Françoise Dorléac, ill-fated sister of Catherine Deneuve. By Peter Bradshaw

François Truffaut's 1964 drama of amour fou, now rereleased as part of a Truffaut season at London's BFI Southbank, is conducted with suavity and flair; it progressively discloses a satisfyingly subtle and textured love story with depth. Jean Desailly plays Pierre Lachenay, a married middle-aged publisher and literary celebrity. In Lisbon to lecture on Balzac, he has a passionate fling with Nicole, the air-hostess on his flight who is staying at the same hotel; she is played by the beautiful Françoise Dorléac, elder sister of Catherine Deneuve. (Dorléac was to die in a car accident three years after this movie was made.) Sexually infatuated with Nicole's exquisite youth, Pierre begins a furtive affair in which he is tormented by the social agonies, embarrassments and humiliations of contriving weekends away when they can be together.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

BFI Announce New Slate Of Film Events

  • CinemaRetro
Deep End

Cinema Retro has received the following press release from the British Film Institute:

Make film your New Year resolution

BFI Southbank – BFI Distribution – BFI Festivals – BFI IMAX – BFI DVD – BFI Membership BFI Online – BFI Filmstore – BFI Mediatheques – BFI Gallery – Sight & Sound 2011 is set to become a landmark year for the BFI and this will be reflected in the broad and diverse range of film offerings for audiences across the UK. From film and television premieres and seasons at BFI Southbank, the most eclectic range of DVDs and nationwide theatrical releases by the most influential artists of British and world cinema, to a free insight into the BFI Archive via the Mediatheques around the country and online, there is something to entertain, educate and inspire anyone who loves film. BFI Southbank Great Auteurs – seasons include Howard Hawks (Jan/Feb), Francois Truffaut (Feb/March) Nicolas Roeg (March), Terence Rattigan (April
See full article at CinemaRetro »

See also

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