Two in the Wave is the story of a friendship. Jean-Luc Godard was born in 1930; Francois Truffaut two years later. Love of movies brings them together. They write in the same magazines, ...
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Two in the Wave is the story of a friendship. Jean-Luc Godard was born in 1930; Francois Truffaut two years later. Love of movies brings them together. They write in the same magazines, Cahiers du Cinema and Arts. When the younger of the two becomes a filmmaker with "The 400 Blows", which triumphs in Cannes in 1959, he helps his older friend shift to directing, offering him a screenplay which already has a title, A bout de souffle, or Breathless. Through the 1960s the two loyally support each other. History and politics separate them in 1968, when Godard plunges into radical politics but Truffaut continues his career as before. Between the two of them, the actor Jean-Pierre Leaud is torn like a child caught between two separated and warring parents. Their friendship and their break-up embody the story of French cinema. Written by
Francois Truffaut and Jean Luc Godard are the two most prominent film makers from the era of New Wave (Nouvelle Vague)a movement that not only revolutionized French film but world cinema. It was more than a wave, it was a Tsunami. In England the Kitchen Sink movement copied it's style. In NYC, Indy filmmakers took to the lower Manhattan streets like Godard did along the Champs Ellyses. In Hollywood it revolutionized the industry and the art form that would lead to its final golden era of the century. Their shadow indeed looms large over the history of cinema.
More gossipy than analytical (and that's just fine given the mountains of material that already exists on Wave theory) Two in the Wave fleshes out through interviews the personalities, the friendship and the discord that ended their collaboration. Ironically, it was Truffaut banned by the establishment from attending Cannes for his incendiary attack as a critic on the French Film Industry only to triumphantly return a year later as a film maker with a winning entry ( The 400 Blows) who incurred the wrath of Godard for going establishment as his star rose.
Before this though we have the two friends sharing an unquenchable passion for film making the groundbreaking Breathless together followed up by a series of highly original and fresh works on their own such as Jules and Jim, Les Carabaniers, Weekend and the Doinel series. There are interviews with key players involved in the movement including actor Jean Pierre Leaud who had roles in many of their films and counted both as friends.
As mentioned earlier Truffaut drifted back into the mainstream with some medium cool efforts before his early demise (54) while Godard continued to remain off beat resulting in both commercial and critical oblivion over the next thirty years. All rather anti-climactic for a pair of intellectual rebels who stood the world of cinema on its ear over half a century earlier. Two for the Wave is worth a look if just to get a feel for a major milestone in the art of film and the two men who were its superstars.
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