Day for Night

Rare 35mm print courtesy of BFI!

Considered by many to be the greatest film ever made about movies, Truffaut’s Day for Night tells of a frustrated filmmaker (Truffaut himself) desperately trying to finish a film whilst attempting to control the melodrama, romance, and personality clashes brewing amongst his crew. The original french title, La nuit Américaine (“American night”) refers to the process of shooting scenes in daylight and then manipulating the film so the shots appear to have occurred at night—in other words, “day for night.” But the coy Truffaut certainly wouldn’t have missed the homophonous l’ennui Américain (“American boredom”), hinting at the film’s delightfully intelligent skewering of all things cinematic. Is cinema nothing but a farce? Is there any truth in film? Does art create culture or does culture create art? Truffaut’s insistence on ambiguity was so intense that it provoked the ire of Jean Luc Godard, whose personal attack on the film effectively ended their relationship. With an all-star cast including Jean-Pierre Léaud and Jacqueline Bisset, Day for Night is one of Truffaut’s finest achievements—comedically, dramatically, and philosophically—so don’t miss the rare chance to see it on 35mm!

Dir. François Truffaut, 1973, 35mm, 115 min.