Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Film

The Criterion Collection – Day For Night Blu-ray review

François Truffaut’s delightful film about cinema is given the Criterion treatment

Credit: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Credit: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Back in the mid 90s glory days of The Simpsons, there was an episode (season seven, episode two to be precise) called Radioactive Man, where a comic book movie was filmed in Springfield. In one scene a production designer is painting a horse to look like a cow. He is asked why, and responds thusly: cows don’t look like cows on film. It is a surreal and hilarious aside about the artificial nature of filmmaking.

François Truffaut’s Day For Night, named after the cinematic technique of shooting scenes in daylight with underexposed film stock and a filter on the lens to make it artificially appear as night, takes a less surreal but equally as entertaining look at the strange, make-believe nature of the movies. The film is a loving tribute to the cinematic art form, which Truffaut so championed as a critic and theorist. It is the power for it to create magic and fantasy that so appeals to us, and Truffaut feels that too, and you can see it in every frame.

The film within the film is called “Meet Pamela”, a dramatic tragedy about a devastating affair. Day For Night however, is a breezy and light-hearted romp behind the scenes, as Truffaut’s camera drifts in and out of the various dramas, comedies, and tragedies taking place on set. He effortlessly captures the chaotic joy of making movies.

There’s the aging actress, who drinks too much and can’t remember her lines. The handsome young lead who is engaged to the script girl, and is insanely jealous of the handsome stuntman. There’s the British lead actress – played by the frighteningly beautiful Jacqueline Bisset – being hounded by the press who have caught whiff of a scandal. Then there’s the director, played in a convincingly low key by Truffaut himself. In one lovely scene, he opens a parcel of books he has ordered, and they are all books on the directors he loves and admires: Bunuel, Dreyer, Lubitsch, Godard, Bergman, Hitchcock, Rossellini, Hawks, and Bresson. The film is as much a love letter to them, as it is to the movies themselves.

Day for Night stands alongside Fellini’s 8 ½ and Godard’s Le Mépris in being the finest movies about the movies that have ever been made. Truffaut achieves this however without the fantastical surrealism of Fellini or the bitterness of Godard. He has also produced a more accessible film than either of those, that can be genuinely enjoyed on first viewing, rather than simply being admired from a safe critical distance.

Criterion as always provide a wonderful selection of extras, delving into the archives, and also producing brand new features exclusively for this disc. Highlights include a visual essay from filmmaker : : kogonada, and a 2003 documentary on the film.

Cast: Jacqueline Bisset, Jean-Pierre Aumont, Valentina Cortese, Jean-Pierre Léaud, François Truffaut Director: François Truffaut Writer: François Truffaut, Suzanne Schiffman, Jean-Louis Richard Released By: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Certificate: 15 Duration: 115 mins Release Date: 24th October 2016

Advertisement

You May Also Like

Music

It's 20 years since Madonna released her multi platinum Music album.

TV

‘The Singapore Grip‘ continues tonight on ITV and we’ve got a preview of the second episode for you. In a sneak peek clip, Matthew...

Music

The chart-topping duo are getting into the festive spirit.



Copyright © 2020 Entertainment Focus

Entertainment Focus is a trading name of Piñata Media Limited (Reg no: 08435639)

Entertainment Focus uses affiliate links. By buying through the links we may receive a commission for the sale. This has no effect on the price for you