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François Truffaut Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trivia (26)  | Personal Quotes (22)  | Salary (1)

Overview (5)

Born in Paris, France
Died in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Hauts-de-Seine, France  (brain tumor)
Birth NameFrançois Roland Truffaut
Nicknames Le Petit Caporal
La Truffe
Height 5' 6" (1.68 m)

Mini Bio (1)

French director François Truffaut began to assiduously go to the movies at age seven. He was also a great reader but not a good pupil. He left school at 14 and started working. In 1947, aged 15, he founded a film club and met André Bazin, a French critic, who became his protector. Bazin helped the delinquent Truffaut and also when he was put in jail because he deserted the army. In 1953 Truffaut published his first movie critiques in "Les Cahiers du Cinema." In this magazine Truffaut, and some of his friends as passionate as he was, became defenders of what they call the "author policy". In 1954, as a test, Truffaut directed his first short film. Two years afterwords he assisted Roberto Rossellini with some later abandoned projects.

The year 1957 was an important one for him: he married Madeleine Morgenstern, the daughter of an important film distributor, and founded his own production company, Les Films du Carrosse; named after Jean Renoir's The Golden Coach (1952). He also directed Les mistons (1957), considered the real first step of his cinematographic work. His other big year was 1959: the huge success of his first full-length film, The 400 Blows (1959), was the beginning of the New Wave, a new way of making movies in France. This was also the year his first daughter, Laura Truffaut, was born.

From 1959 until his death, François Truffaut's life and films are mixed up. Let's only note he had two other daughters Eva Truffaut (b. 1961) and Josephine (b. 1982, with French actress Fanny Ardant). Truffaut was the most popular and successful French film director ever. His main themes were passion, women, childhood and faithfulness.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Yepok (qv's & corrections by A. Nonymous)

Spouse (1)

Madeleine Morgenstern (29 October 1957 - 1965) ( divorced) ( 2 children)

Trivia (26)

Buried in the "Montmartre" cemetery in Paris, France.
In 1968, two years after the book "Hitchcock, Truffaut," Alfred Hitchcock hired Truffaut's star Claude Jade (Stolen Kisses (1968) [Baisers Volés], Bed & Board (1970), and Love on the Run (1979)) for Topaz (1969).
Fiancé of Claude Jade (1968).
Picked up a hitchhiker once and started a conversation about movies. When it turned out the man had too little knowledge about this subject to participate, Truffaut insisted on him leaving the car.
Daughter Josephine was born on Sept. 28, 1983. Mother was his companion (1981-84) Fanny Ardant.
When director Sergei Parajanov was imprisoned by the Soviet government, Truffaut signed a petition for his release.
Was voted the 27th Greatest Director of all time by Entertainment Weekly. He is the highest ranking director on this list who was a film critic before he became a filmmaker.
Was rumored to be a contender to direct The Stunt Man (1980), and to have used elements from that film's source, the Paul Brodeur novel of the same name, in the story of Day for Night (1973), but he strenuously denied these rumors in correspondence published after his death, claiming that inspiration had come instead from Singin' in the Rain (1952), (1963), and The Bad and the Beautiful (1952).
He was a big Alfred Hitchcock fan and defined him as his master.
Member of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 1962.
Son of Jeanine de Montferrand. François was raised by his maternal grandparents.
Father, with Madeleine Morgenstern, of two girls--Laura (b. January 22, 1959) and Eva (b. June 29, 1961).
Was Warren Beatty's first choice to direct Bonnie and Clyde (1967) but he turned it down.
Had a falling out with Jean-Luc Godard after he came to believe that Godard put down the work of others to raise the regard of his own.
Sold "la Cause du people" ("The Peoples' Cause") "revolutionary propaganda" to uphold the cause of freedom of expression on the streets of Paris (June 20, 1970). He had Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir for company.
Profiled in "Encyclopedia of French Film Directors" by Philippe Rege (Scarecrow Press).
Directed two actresses to Oscar nominations: Valentina Cortese (Best Supporting Actress, Day for Night (1973)) and Isabelle Adjani (Best Actress, The Story of Adele H (1975)).
He died two days before Oskar Werner, whom he directed in two of Werner's most celebrated films--Jules and Jim (1962) and Fahrenheit 451 (1966).
Interviewed in "World Directors in Dialogue" by Bert Cardullo (Scarecrow Press, 2011).
Acknowledges he had a very unhappy childhood, which is reflected in his films.
His first review for "Cahiers du Cinema" was for Sudden Fear (1952).
Was an only child who saw little of his working parents during childhood. His maternal grandfather was a great influence on him and is responsible for his love of books.
Enlisted in the French army in December 1950, hoping to be assigned to the film branch, but he was assigned first to Germany and then to Indochina as an artilleryman. Unhappy, he deserted twice. He was caught and sent first to a military stockade and later to an asylum. His actions caused him to be dishonorably discharged in 1952.
After the war he became a devoted cinephile and viewed as many as 20 films each week, keeping a diary on his movie-going.
As a teenager he was involved in petty theft, incidences of violence, defiance of authority and disciplinary incarceration.
Two of his were films nominated for the same Golden Globe in the Best Foreign-Language Foreign Film category in 1969, a rare occurrence. Stolen Kisses (1968) and The Bride Wore Black (1968) competed against each other and both failed to win the award.

Personal Quotes (22)

Claude Jade and Jean-Pierre Léaud are my contemporaries.
Sometimes I force myself. In the case of Bed & Board (1970) I laid down certain laws for myself. Henri Langlois, who loved Stolen Kisses (1968), said to me, "Now you have to get Jean-Pierre Léaud and Claude Jade married".
Is the cinema more important than life?
I have always preferred the reflect of the life to life itself
Film lovers are sick people.
Some day I'll make a film that critics will like. When I have money to waste.
Taste is a result of a thousand distastes.
Originally I didn't like [John Ford]--because of his material. For example, the comic secondary characters, the brutality, the male-female relationships typified by the man's slapping the woman on the backside. But eventually I came to understand that he had achieved an absolute uniformity of technical expertise. And his technique is the more admirable for being unobtrusive: His camera is invisible; his staging is perfect; he maintains a smoothness of surface in which no one scene is allowed to become more important than any other. Such mastery is possible only after one has made an enormous number of films. Questions of quality aside, John Ford is the Georges Simenon of directors.
One looks at films differently when one is a director or a critic. For example, though I have always loved Citizen Kane (1941), I loved it in different ways at different stages of my career. When I saw it as a critic, I particularly admired the way the story is told: the fact that one is rarely permitted to see the person who interviews all the characters, the fact that chronology is not respected, things like that. As a director I cared more about technique: all the scenes are shot in a single take and do not use reverse cutting; in most scenes you hear the soundtrack before you see the corresponding images--that reflects Orson Welles' radio training, etc. Behaving like the ordinary spectator, one uses a film as if it were a drug; he is dazed by the motion and doesn't try to analyze. A critic, on the other hand, is forced to write summaries of films in 15 lines. That forces one to apprehend the structure of a film and to rationalize his liking for it.
I make films that I would like to have seen when I was a young man.
When I first saw Citizen Kane (1941), I was certain that never in my life had I loved a person the way I loved that film.
Cinema is an improvement on life.
[on Jean-Pierre Léaud] The most interesting actor of his generation. There are actors who are interesting even if they merely stand in front of a door; Léaud is one of them.
[in 1964, on Edvin Laine's Tuntematon sotilas (1955)] It has to be one of the best anti-war movies.
[in "le Monde", Paris, 1962] The thing which gives me the courage to keep going is that in the cinema industry one does not feel isolated. Solitude is one of the greatest problems facing other artists such as abstract painters and musicians.
[on Michelangelo Antonioni] Antonioni is the only important director I have nothing good to say about. He bores me; he's so solemn and humorless.
The talent of [Jean-Luc Godard] goes toward a destructive object. Like [Pablo Picasso,, to whom he's compared very often, he destroys what he does; the act of creation is destructive. I like to work in tradition, in the constructive tradition.
[In a 1973 interview] [Éric Rohmer] is the best French director now. He became famous very late compared to the rest of us, but for 15 years he's been behind us all the time. He's influenced us from behind for a long time.
Like [Federico Fellini], I think that the "noble" film is the trap of traps, the sneakiest swindle in the industry. For a real filmmaker, nothing could be more boring to make than a The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)--scenes set inside office alternating with discussions between old fogies and some action scenes usually filmed by another crew. Rubbish, traps for fools, Oscar machines.
[reviewing Scarface (1932) in 1954] This isn't literature. It may be dance or poetry. It is certainly cinema.
Well, to put it bluntly, isn't there a certain incompatibility between the terms "cinema" and "Britain"?
In Lubitsch Swiss cheese, each hole winks.

Salary (1)

Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) $75,000

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