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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

252 of 1001 Movies: Day for Night (1973)

Francois Truffaut is one of the stars and the director of this very unique French movie. The movie is one of the few, and well for me only, movie I've seen that has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie is very realistic, and gives the viewer insight into filming techniques in the studio setting. Whether that involved being in an actual studio or out in a made studio in the outdoors. While showing all this though he also lets us get to know the characters who are complex and doing what may naturally come with being in close proximity to other people so long.

Summary: Ferrand is trying to shoot his movie, Pamela. The set though is plagued with bad luck. He has all the props to make it work, but with love affairs ensuing everywhere people are becoming more motivated by their personal lives than helping him bring together the movie in the time he needs to get it done. He even brings in an actress he never has worked with. For a director who likes to stick with people he knows this shows just how for he's going to look for the right cast. Julie's presence will provide some confusing moments for Alphonse, the other lead in the movie though, and put the movie at risk.


Acting: Francois Truffaut shows he can not only direct, but act in this movie, and I like how he is passionate about his work, but he seems to try to treat his cast well too. It isn't just about making his movie though he will pressure someone to work if he has to. Jacqueline Bisset is Julie, the lead in the movie. She is really beautiful, and she did well in this movie too. You never know quite what to think about her though. Her personality almost seems obscure. Jean Pierre Leaud is Alphonse, and perhaps the most well defined character of the movie. He doesn't think much through, and much of his life seems to revolve around trying to not be lonely instead of his career. Valentina Cortese is Severine, and a really unique and interesting personality. She is just off the wall and the only noticeable comedy I saw the movie have.  For me that rounded out the cast members I really had thoughts on. They were intriguing and odd, but if not for them this would have just been a movie about a film technique.

Filming: I love how the film brings out the color. Digital has brought a lot more to movies, but you will never again get the quality you did with film.  It doesn't take blu-ray to make it look astounding. What I found truly interesting wasn't the way this movie was always shot, but more so what it was giving us a glimpse of behind the scenes. It shows them shooting a scene and this gives us a look at it when finished. I feel this brings us into the movie more as well. The ending scene when they film the final scene though was the most interesting though not only because of what they were using but also because of how they were shooting the scene.

Plot: The main plot from what I could make sense of was just Francos Truffaut trying to make his film Pamela, and well he uses the famous technique Day for Night in the movie, where they shoot a film during the day, but make it look like night time in the movie. What might be more interesting for those who aren't huge into a behind the scene look at movies though will most likely be the ensuing story lines of chaos from the cast as they can't seem to get it together.

Day For Night has a very perfect blend of showing behind the camera and also giving you characters that are interesting. The biggest obstacle for me though is that I didn't relate nor particularly dislike or like the characters. Without being able to feel I felt a bit disconnected, and even bored while watching the movie sometimes. A twist would happen to keep you watching though.

Rating 7.5 of 10.


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