My Gleanings

Monday, October 01, 2007

François Truffaut -- last words on Sacha Guitry

The final photograph in the sheaf of photographs bound into the posthumously published collection of articles by François Truffaut Le plaisir des yeux
is a photo of a older and bearded Sacha Guitry seated on the edge of a bed in front of a Movieola placed on a table covered with reels of film. This wan Guitry who appears more like a college professor than a boulavardier looks up towards the camera. Beneath that photograph there is printed this legend which is signed "François Truffaut". (my translation)

No, the New Wave was not "a pack of vultures, busy back-stabbing their elders in order to supplant them". It was quite the contrary. The young staffers at Cahiers restored to favor Abel Gance, Jean Cocteau, Jean Renoir, Robert Bresson, Max Ophuls, all disparaged by the critics of "la grandepresse". The greatest difficulty was in getting Marcel Pagnol and Sacha Guitry to be recognized as complete metteurs-en-scene.
Sacha Guitry! Every time that I feel jaded, ready to yield to discouragement, ready to hand myself over to melancholy, rancor or bitterness, when the disagreeable shadow of surrender comes to darken the work that is in progress, then, it is enough for me to scan Willy Rizzo's photograph of Sacha Guitry and to regain my wings, find again good spirit, tenacity and all the courage in the world.

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