Two in the Wave
(Deux de la vague)
Directed by Emmanuel Laurent
Cornerhouse, 25 May 2011
‘I hardly have the impression that I’m exaggerating when I say that cinema saved my life.’
Truffaut’s words express his passion for cinema, a passion that drew him towards and then later apart from Godard.
This documentary examines the relationship between the two men, both key figures in the Nouvelle Vague. They began as allies, Truffaut even writing the screenplay (ostensibly, at any rate) to Godard’s first feature A bout de soufflé. It seems something of a cliché, or perhaps a smokescreen, to say that artistic differences was the cause of their falling out, but here it seems to have been true.
At some point, and especially following the events of protest in 1968, cinema became a political tool for Godard. His work became much more engaged, radical, politically committed. Whereas for Truffaut, cinema was always a lyrical art form. That, above all. He never lost a naive cinephilie.
Watch to the very end of this superb documentary and you’ll see a touching interview / screen test with a very young Jean-Pierre Leaud, for the role of the schoolboy in Les quatre cents coups. There are many other riches here too, in a film that is pretty much essential viewing for all lovers of French cinema.
Here are two related postings, both book reviews: