My Gleanings

Friday, September 08, 2006

A Certain Tendency of Truffauldian Criticism

It is often written that Francois Truffaut in his later years "softened" his positions from his time as a critic at Cahiers du Cinema and Art-Spectacles in the 1950s.
Reading the introduction that he wrote for "The Great French Films" by James Reid Paris, published in 1983 the year before Truffaut's death, one gets no hint of any kind of a "softening". But also, in a letter from Truffaut to Jim Paris agreeing to some changes in that introduction, a letter which is published in Truffaut's correspondence, one reads Truffaut telling that one of his prime concerns in writing this introduction is that no one being able to say that Truffaut now approves of films that he once was critical of.
Also, one of the projects of his last years was to collect some of his more general writings on film as a companion to his "The Films In My Life". Though he was not able to complete the project and it was eventually finished by Jean Narboni and Serge Toubiana, he had selected the title for one of the section; that title was "A little bit of polemic never hurts" and it was to include "A Certain Tendency of French Cinema", "You Are All Witnesses at the Trial, French Cinema is Caving in under its False Legends"and "Clouzot at Work or the Reign of Terror".



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