(In caso di pioggia, la proiezione si sposterà al Cinema Jolly e sostituirà la replica serale)
Ce film est dédié à Lillian et Dorothy Gish (François Truffaut)
“A whole era of cinema will disappear with Alexandre, the studios will fall into disuse, films will be shot in the streets without stars or scripts. There will be no more films like Je vous présente Paméla”. Is that not the best statement that Truffaut could make in a “recapitulation film” such as La Nuit américaine – to use his term – to celebrate retrospectively the New Wave, of which he was one of the architects? Je vous présente Paméla, with Alexandre (Jean-Pierre Aumont) in the role of the father that steals the wife of his son Alphonse (Jean-Pierre Léaud), is the film (a) within a film (b) called La Nuit américaine: the example-film a, old style, imagined by Truffaut as a super American-style production shot in the historic La Victorine studios in Nice, with an all-star cast, reconstructed scenes and an overabundance of tricks and illusionism. And so b takes place behind the scenes of a, with no more than five actors – plus the director Ferrand played by Truffaut himself, the producer, the script girl and some technicians – who at the end of shooting take off the clothes of the film set in England (in a Alphonse will kill an effigy of Alexandre, and in b Alexandre will actually die in a car accident) and go back to being themselves, to their personal affairs, often, as in the case of Léaud, muddled to the point of creating confusion between a and b. It is in this subtle metacinematographic game that the appeal of La Nuit américaine exists, in its constant crossover of a with b, with a mirror-like game by virtue of which, thanks to b, Truffaut can reveal the tricks of a: from technical tricks such as nuit américaine (day for night), created by Hollywood studios for transforming day into night with a simple optical filter, to acting tricks, with the emotion of real life turned into film, fully resolved within itself. “Films are more harmonious than life, films keeps rolling forward, like trains in the night”, says Ferrand/Truffaut to the eternal child Léaud, always just one step from becoming an adult and always unable to make that step.
Cast and Credits
Scen.: Suzanne Schiffman, Jean-Louis Richard, François Truffaut. F.: Pierre-William Glenn. M.: Yann Dedet. Scgf.: Damien Lanfranchi. Mus.: Georges Delerue. Int.: Jacqueline Bisset (Julie Baker/Paméla), Valentina Cortese (Séverine), Alexandra Stewart (Stacey), Jean-Pierre Aumont (Alexandre), Jean-Pierre Léaud (Alphonse), François Truffaut (Ferrand), Jean Champion (Bertrand), Nathalie Baye (Joëlle). Prod.: Marcel Berbert per Les Films du Carrosse, PECF, PIC. DCP. D.: 115’. Col.
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