(La Peau Douce)
Directed by Francois Truffaut
Cornerhouse, 29 May 2011
A welcome opportunity, following the release of the documentary Two in the Wave, to take another look at Truffaut’s art.
The film is about the wreckage wrought by love – a married man embarks on an affair – and it can be read as a distortion / deformation of Chekhov’s famous story about the lady with a small dog.
Everything moves forward at breakneck speed: planes must be caught, appointments kept, phone calls made and, of course, impulses acted upon. It is a film that’s concerned with many things : the pace of the modern world (and this was in 1964) and, perhaps as a consequence, the neglect of what’s important; the perversity of chance. There is a lot of humour, which derives in the main from hypocrisy and the need to maintain appearances.
Above all, Truffaut’s film is about Eros, the eruption of sexual passion into a settled life.