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The origins and uses of love in the cinema of Francois Truffaut Harris, Mark Robert 1992

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THE ORIGINS AND USES OF LOVEIN THE CINEMA OF FRANCOIS TRUFFAUTbyMARK ROBERT HARRISA THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFMASTER OF ARTSinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES(Department of Theatre and Film)We accept this thesis as conformingto the required standardTHE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA ;September 1992© Mark Robert Harris, 199211AbstractThe Origins and Uses of Love in the Cinema of FrancoisTjrufjF aut attempts to explain how the Nouvelle Vague film-maker's passions and enthusiasms created both the substanceand aesthetic of his work. For the sake? of concision, thisstudy has been restricted primarily to the analysis of eightkey films in the director's work. These seven features andone short have been further sub-divided into three "blocs":Les 400 coups, Antoine et Colette, Baisers voles. Domicileconjugale, and L'Amour en fuite making up the set centred onthe adventures of Antoine Doinel; Jules et Jim and Les_ Deuxanglaises et le continent constituting the diptych inspiredby the novels of Henri-Pierre Soche; and TJ rez sur lepianiste-, the sole monadal entry, representing Truffaut'sattraction to Hollywood genre cinema. Each of the director'sfour principal passions are granted a self-explicatingchapter: Love of Children, Love of Film, Love of Literature,and Love of Love. In the first of these thematic chapters,it is pointed out that Truffaut's love of children wascounterbalanced by an equally profound hatred for theobjective conditions of childhood. Love of Film encompassesfilm criticism as well as film-making; it shows how Truffaut'sformative viewing experiences subsequently influenced hischoice of subject matter. Love of .literature places specialemphasis on the works of Honore de Balzac and Henri-PierreRoche, The Antoine Doinel films, it is argued, are essentiallya rr.irii-Cornedie humaine. Love of Love encompasses both romanceand friendship. How Truffaut could glory in the pleasuresof heterosexual love without really believing in itspermanence proves pivotal in this chapter. How all these"loves" were bounded by the director's love/hate relationshipto time is discussed in the thesis conclusion.IllTABLE OF CONTENTSAbstract iiTable of Contents iiiAcknowledgements ivChapter One Introduction 1Chapter Two Love of Children 8Chapter Three Love of Film 39Chapter Four Love of Literature 57Chapter Five Love of Love 81Chapter Six Conclusion 107Filmography 115B i b1i ography 117IVACKNOWLEDGEMENTS1 T)uring the writing of this thesis, members of the UBCFilm faculty were generous with their time and theirencouragement, both implicit and overt. In particular, Iwould like to thank my thesis adviser. Dr. Brian Mcllroy, forhis patience and helpful comments. Creative Writing alsocontributed to the completion of this thesis, inasmuch asHart Hanson's course on screenwriting and George McWhirter'son translation honed related skills that proved invaluablewhen the time came to analyze films and interpret texts.Inter-library loans is to be congratulated on its prompt andefficient service, and Jim Sinclair, executive director ofthe Pacific Cinematheque, is cordially thanked for the freeaccess he provided to that organization's useful library.CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTIONThe permutations of love in the films of FrancoisTruffaut are both varied and complex, accounting in largemeasure for the director's interests, the diegetic contentof his oeuvre, and the viewer's subjective response toboth. in this context, "love'1 refers to the persons,objects and themes to which the film-maker was repeatedlydrawn during the course of his quarter century career asa commercial cineaste; to a lesser extent, it also embracesthe positive reactions of those who share the director'sworld view. Indeed, it would probably not be stretchingthings too far to state that love was so central toTruffaut's aesthetic, his work would not have come intoexistence without it. This claim applies equally to theoeuvre's origins and its evolution.For the sake of concision, it has been decided torestrict this study primarily to the close examination ofseven features and one short film; the director's other14 features and two shorts will be discussed only insofaras they shed illumination on the eight core works.Although, like all films, these motion pictures travelsequentially through time, they will not be considered inchronological order. Instead, they have been divided intothree "blocs", one made up of five films, one of two, andone of one. The largest of these groups concerns itselfwith the chronicles of Antoine Doinel, the alleged "alterego" of Fi-ancois Truffaut who was always played, at variouspoints in his life, by the same actor, Jean-Pierre Lea-ad.Tnis bloc includes Les 400 coups (1959), Antoine etColette (1962), Baisers voles (1968), Domicile conjugale(1970), and L'Amour en fuite (1979). The second largestbloc consists of Jules et Jirn (1961) and Les Deux anglaiseset le continent (1971), the diptych distilled from the twonovels published under his own name by Henri-Pierre Roche.Tirez sur le pianiste (1960) is the solitary film thatconstitutes a group unto itself.One should not conclude from this division that themotion pictures within each set's boundaries are wholly-hermetic or self-contained entities. While they dorepresent certain major emphases in the director's work,they are also sufficiently porous to admit, to varyingdegrees, all of Truffaut's compound interests and obsessions,Unlike the Hollywood auteurs whom Truffaut so admired,virtually all of his projects were undertaken as "laboursof love", Fahrenheit 451 (1966) being the only one of hisfeatures to fail even partially outside his usual orbitsof fascination and delight.1 This explains the thematicnecessity of "outside" quotation, for while it would behard to argue that any key aspect of Truffaut's ethos isabsent from the eight "core'1 motion pictures, by the sametoken it would be absurd to ;sucrqest that they could notbenefit; from amplification, particularly f>or,i sources wherethey are perhaps made manifest in a purer- form.Although Truffaut once claimed that "Ma pa trie, rnafamilie, c'est ie cinema'1 (Gillain 413), one should takesuch assertions with a grain of salt. His love ofliterature was at least as profound arid long-lasting as hispassion for the "seventh art", while his loyalty to friends,fondness for actors, and adoration of women were legendary.What's more, the legacy of his formative years is as evidentin Le Dernier metro (1980) as it is in Les 400 coups. In acinema notably innocent of villains (a subject which will bediscussed at greater length in a subsequent chapter), thatwhich Truffaut "hates" (the arbitrary power of adults overchildren; the inhumanity of "official" life) exists primarilyon an antinomous plane, as the paradoxical concomitantof that which he "loves" (the private world of children;the organic Imperatives of the romantic couple). Becausehis own experience of joy was salted with bitterness fromhis earliest days, this residvial acidity functions as anantidote to the sentimental!by which could easily overwhelmhis oeuvre.Truffaut was essentially an auto-didact, "culture" beingsomething he discovered on his own. As always with the self-taught, this experience resulted in striking contradictions.While the director could self-aeprecatingly claim in a noteto Jean-Louis Bory that "Since I had left school at 14, I couldnot "logically asp .ire to the kind of intellectual pleasuresof a Robbe-Grillet or of my friend Rivette" (Letters 424),scenarist Jean, one of Truffaut's most frequentcollaborators,, in an article published several years after hisemployer's death, wouj.d counter-claim that "II lisait La)cornedie humaine a 1'age ou je lisait Kipling, Jack London etEdgar Rice Burroughs" (Gruault 85), It's also important tobear in mind that his "faulty" education was not alwaysperceived as such by his film-making peers, a fact madeabundantly clear in the following reminiscence by fellowNouvelle Vague member Eric Rohmer:En ce qui concerne Truffaut, ladifference fondamentale entre lui et lesautres, c'etait son cote' rive droite. Nousetions marques rive gauche d' abordparce que nous habitions presque tous rivegauche et que nous n"etions pas parisiens.Or les vrais parisiens c'est la rive droite,la rive gauche est beaucoup plus provincialeet cosmopo 1 ii,e. (LeTruffaut 19)°Truffaut's discovery of movies was every bit asidiosyncratic as his encounters with literature. The youthwhose love of Balzac, Genet and Proust in no way detractedfrom his appreciation of hardboiled American detective novels,approached the cinema with the same, almost Rousseauesquenaivete. Thus, Roy Armes's claim that the director's"habit of littering the screen with corpses" stems direcliyfrom his desire to be an American "B" movie-maker (Armes 128),is in no sense at odds with Trufraut's recollection that "LesX ^films que j'ai vrairnent admires, evidemmont, c'etaienb les filmsXfranca is puisque j'ai commence a a Her- au cinema pendant laguerre" (Gillain 18), The young cineasue-in-embryo saw filmsrepeatedly and in batches. iJuring Lhe Occupation, he would"sneak in" to see the same wartime French features again andagain. This process would be repeated with postwar Americanmovies, and later on with the eclectic cinematic programs putout by the Cinematheque Francaise. For Truffaut, enjoyabilitywas as important as "quality". While sheer quantity was anessential pre-condition for his happiness, the canons ofexcellence perfected by the "academy" meant little to thisself-educated film enthusiast. Of his film-going experiencesin the 1940s and '50s, Truffaut wrote:1 passed up period films, war movies andWesterns because they were more difficultto identify with. That left mysteriesand love stories. Unlike most moviegoersmy own age, I didn't identify with theheroes, but with the underdog and, ingeneral, any character who was in thewrong. (The Films in My Life 4)This fondness for characters who were "reprouvee par/ /la societe" (Desjardins 45), would never leave him, and mightwell account for much of the rigour in his art. Bourgeoismass culture could therefore impress this underpriveleged rebelonly with its glittering surfaces, and not with its conformistsub-texts, since these latter ingredients were incapable ofsatisfying Truffaut's emotional needs. Consequently, his cinemawould never be as "thought-out" as that of his sometimesfriendly rival, Jean-Luc Godarci; its successes, like itsfailures, were rooted in a pleasure principle that constitutedthe director's first line of defence against the still-festeringemotional memories connected to his early life, Behind thebonhomie, lurked chaos.The Origins and Uses of Love in the Cinemajof FrancoisTruft'aut will sequentially consider the director's love ofchildren (a love magnified by his hatred of childhood, theobjective condition of the young); movies (from the perspectiveof both an auteur and a critic); literature (with a specialemphasis on the works of Honore de Balzac and Henri-PierreRoche, the film-maker's most important " muses''); women,friendship,, and the past. Because his work is so closely alignedwith formative experience, much biographical material will beintroduced, particularly in the chapter on childhood. Truffaut;spoke repeatedly of his youth but seldom referred to theconcrete events of his adulthood; this reticence will naturallybe reflected by this paper.What The Ori_gins and Uses of Love in the Cinema ofFrancois Truffaut hopes to do is demonstrate how particularits subject's "loves" really were. This particularity travelledfrom film to film, sometimes in an overt and sometimes in asubterranean fashion.. It accounts equally for the enthusiasmof the director's admirers and for the distaste of hisdetractors. Collectively, these "loves" constitute a sort offamily romance in which fictional characters, general types,authors, film-makers, friends and relations enjoy more-oi- lessequal status. It is a self-referential melange that aspirestowards — and sometimes attairis--the multi-layered complexityof the fiction Truffaut most admired: Balzac's Comedie humaine.Notes on Chapter OneAlthough she felt the film was an overall failure,Pauline Kael was quite perceptive about what worked inFahrenheit 451: "There are a few nice "touches": the loss ofmemory by bookless people so that they have no past and nohistory; their drugged narcissistic languor..." (Kiss KissBang Bang 149) Fahrenheit 451 will be mentioned again in thechapters devoted to literature and time,2 Sentimentality and lack of aesthetic rigour are, ofcourse, precisely the charges that are usually levelled againstthe "later" Truffaut by his detractors, notably Jean-LucGodard.3L.e Roman de Francois Truffaut was an unnumbered,special edition of Cahiers du cinema which was publishedshortly after the director's untimely death. Made up entirelyof recollections and reminiscences of the professional peoplewho had figured most prominently in the director's life, itreads more like a book than a magazine. Consequently, for thesake of easy referral, I have decided to treat it as such;henceforward, it shall be known simply as Le Roman.Bibliographical complexity also besets Anne GilIain's Le Cinemaselon Francois Truffaut. A Collection of Truffaut's most signi-ficant interviews, it seldom mentions where they originallyappeared, sometimes conflating two or three articles for thesake of narrative coherence. All references to this work aresignified by the editor's name.CHAPTER TWO: ..LQVJLOF CHILDRENLike al1 people, Francois Truffaut arrived in this worldas a child with an amniotic love for his mother. He was bornon February 6, 1932 to Roland Truffaut, an architecturaldraftsman with a "passion for mountain climbing'1, and Janinede Montferrand, a secretary at a weekly newspaper. (Gillain15) He was the young couple's only child.For the first eight years of his life, Truffaut livedaway from his parents, first with a nurse, and then with hisgrandmother. For this elderly relative, he was expected tobe "silent and invisible", but his maternal grandmothernonetheless demonstrated a "great love for books", a lovereflected by her conversations with a bookstore owner concerningthe value of the latest novels. (Truffaut^ by Truffaut 11)His grandfather was a stonecutter who "worked a lot forceme ter i es . " (Truffaut by Truffaut II}..1It was only In 1942 that the future director belatedlybegan to live under his parents' roof:Quand ma grand-mere est morte, mesparents m'ont repris. Us n'etaientpas mechantSj seulement nerveux etoccupes. Ma mere etait aigrie. Elleaura it sans doute aime urie vie plusbrilliants. Je n'etais pas sportif,tres vite c'est le cinema qui m'a attire.Ceia paraissait louche a la maison de nepas aimer le camping. (Gillain 15 - 16)Annette Insdorf seems to accept this account of thefilm-maker's upbringing at face value when she says that AntoineDoinel, Truffaut's fictional ''alter ego", "was less mistreatedthan simply not treated at all." (Insdorf 161) On the otherhand, the director himself has contributed bo the mysterysurrounding his childhood by presenting conflicting accountsof the same events in films, articles, and interviews. Thefollowing recollection, for instance, suggests maternalcharacteristics considerably darker than mere "nervousness"or preoccupation:Ensuite, j'ai vecu avec ma mere qui nesupporterait pas le bruit et qui medemanderait de rester sans bouger, sansparler, des heures et des heures.Done, je lisais, c'etait la seu.le occupationque je pouvais adopter sans 1'agacer.(Gil lain 30)So both his mother and his mother's mother insisted thathe "shut up", while his only refuge lay in books, the passionof his grandmother. Already fear, pleasure and a desperateneed to please are present in his relationships with women.No wonder he maintained the feeling all his life that he "wasa child who huddled forgotten in the corner and dreamed"(Crisp 6 - 7).Many of those reveries were fuelled by films, which hisparents discussed, though he generally preferred to sneak intomovies they had not seen, cultivating a guilty feeling of"clandestinite" (Gil lain 16 - 17).Truffaut's usual "accomplice" on these "undercover"excursions was Robert Lachenay, the life-long friend whose10surname would subsequently be appended to the hero of La Peaudouce (1964), the film-maker's fourth feature. Lachenay'srecollection of the origins of this friendship reads like aprecis of Les 400 coups:Moi, j ' avals^eteT retrograde de olasseparce que j'etais toujours ie dernier...L ' instltuteur- —il a servi de rnodele acelui des 400 coups,--m'a dit le jour ouje suis arrive dans la classe: "Allegvous asseoir a cote de Truffaut, tousles deux, vous ferez le paire." (LeRoman 7)Despite the fact that he was the younger of the twoboys, Truffaut clearly set the tone of this relationship,although he generally tried to conceal this in letters andinterviews. Judging by his own account, however, Lachenay feltno qualms about admitting to his intellectual "inferiority" me parlait^du Lys dart-la vallee,du baiser sur 1'epaule de Madame deMortsauf, qui etait que1que chose quile bouleversait, moi je suivais piutot,alors je lisais Balzac. (Le Roman 7)As the years progressed, this initial disparity grewrather than diminished. In the late 1940s, Truffaut wouldwrite most of the amateur reviews that Lachenay signed (LeRoman 8). That one finds no trace of envy or rancor in thischildhood friend's brief memoir suggests that not only didTruffaut never lose his "common touch", but that "character"was at least as important to him as facility with words or love11of cinema. Even his "ordinary" friends had somethingextraordinary about them, and this ability to find the sublimein the "humdrum" would subsequently stand him in good steadwhen it became time to shoot the Antoine Doinei movies.Of course, when Truffaut first ran away from home in1943, Lachenay had something that Truffaut desperately needed:a place to go to. Truffaut hid out in his friend's bedroomin the manner described in Les 400 coups. When he told histeacher that his father had been arrested by the Gestapo, this"white lie" would later be transformed to the "my mother isdead" motif in the director's first film. Truffaut recalledthat whenever one boy would be forced to change schoo'other would shortly follow. Discipline was just gasolinepoured on fire. "The more I was punished," Truffaut oncesaid, "the more trouble I made." (Gillain 17)Still, despite their rebellious spirit, most of theboys' "criminal" activities were devoted to devising newmethods of sneaking into the cinema. In virtually every bookon this cineaste-in-embroyo, the means of doing so areitemized: going when a friend was taking tickets at the door;squeezing two boys in on one ticket; using old tickets;pretending to have "lost" something when the shows emptied out.Favourite films would be seen repeatedly. In his youth,Truffaut claimed to have taken in Jean Renoir's La Regie dujeu (1937) no fewer than 12 times.At age 14, Truffaut started working with a grainexporter. Other part time jobs followed, along with a fewpetty thefts, although, unlike his fictional counterpart12Antoine Doinel, it was not the botched fencing of a purloinedtypewriter 'chat brought the teenaged film fancier into conflictwith the Law, In his case, it was unpaid debts arising fromthe operation of "La Circle cinemane", the film society whichTruffaut co-founded with his friend Lachenay. It was AndreBazin who got Truffaut out of the Villejuif reform school, whileit was Truffaut's real father who turned him in.One cannot help but think, in this context, of Antoine!sillegitimacy in Les 400 coups. As so often with the mostpainful possibilities in Truffaut's life, one is struck by thefact that none of his major critics seem to have asked him adirect question about the status of his parentage, nor apparentlydid the director publicly volunteer the information. Truffautwas sent to live with his grandmother, after all, once a commonway of dealing with "bastards". And there is the strongsecondary evidence provided by the marked absence of strongbiological fathers in the film-maker's oeuvre. In his life,however, surrogate fathers would play a commanding role, andAndre Bazin was the first and most important of these. Bazinfirst met Truffaut when the young film programmer ratherbrazenly suggested that the older critic re-schedule his weeklyscreenings because Bazin's incomparably more successfuloperation was creating invincible competition. Until he diedprematurely at the age of 40 in 1958, Bazin would exercise aprofound influence on his protege, an influence that Truffautwould absorb and subsequently exercise on others younger thanhimself. Much more will be said about this later in theproper place.13One of the terms of Truffaut's release was that he seea psychologist once a week. Based on the letters that Truffautwas writing to Robert Lachenay around that time,, it seems asif psychiatric help might have been eminently needed:Since my last letter, much has happened.Principally: there was a very real chanceof my being in no condition to answeryour letter, as I tried to kill myselfand had 25 razor slashes in my rightarm, so it was very serious. (Letters22 - 24)''Twenty-five razor slashes" on one arm sounds less likea suicide attempt than j an act of self-mutilation. Clinicaldiagnosis nowadays inclines towards feelings of unworchJnessengendered by sexual or emotional abuse as the root cause ofsuch behaviour. Again we are faced with evidence of activityfar worse in Truffaut's past than mere "nervousness" or "pre-occupation" .After suffering through the unfortunate romantic episodecinematically transformed into Antoine et Colette, thedisappointed cinemane joined the French army in 1950, after-first donating his substantial film archive to Henri Langloison the understanding that he would be admitted free to theCinematheque Francaise for the rest of bis life. (Gillain 26)Since he was scheduled to embark for Indochina in 1951, therest of his life might not have been very long if the futuredirector had not deserted. Even "on the lam", Truffaut couldonly think of his plight in cinematic terms. Before obtaining14"clothes, a job, friends I can trust," he will be in "the samesituation as Jean Cabin at the beginning of the film set inle Havre"; afterwards, he will be "in the same situation asJean Gabin at the end of a film set in Algiers (the ship leaveswithout him!)." (Letters 56)Unlike the heroes of Marcel Game's Quai des brumes(1938) and Julien Duvivier's Pepe-le-Moko (1937), Truffautsurvived his travails, but not without hardship. He wastwice confined to the French military asylum at Anderrachin West Germany, and served six months in military prisonbefore being discharged, a la Antoirie Doinel in Baisers voles,for "instability of character" in 1953. He had been shackled,his head was shaved, and he had once been squeezed into a celldesigned for four men with 11 other prisoners. Andre Bazinwas again instrumental in winning his release.Truffaut's amateur film reviewing became more seriousafter he was inspired by the Gahiers du cinema issue devotedto the works of Robert Bresson. Bazin got him a job withGahiers, and before long Truffaut was writing for Arts andother publications as well. At the same time, Truffaut beganhis film-making career as a cineaste employed by the ServiceCinematographique of the Ministry of Agriculture. Bazin gothim this job, although he was clearly fired from it on his owninitiative. In 1955 he made the short film Une Visite intandem with fellow Nouvelle Vague members, Alain Resnais andJacques Rivette. Making movies seems to have permanentlyie-channelled his creative energies away from fiction. "No,"15he wrote, ''my novel will never see the light of day, I destroyed40 pages and the 20 that, are left will soon go the same way;I have more talent for film criticism." (Letters 62)That Truffaut enjoyed reviewing movies seemsindisputable. Of the years 1954 - 1958, he wrote:LThis was3 the first happy period ofmy life; I was going to movies andtalking about them and somebody waspaying me to- do it. I was finallyearning enough money to do nothingfrom morning to night but what Ienjoyed, and I appreciated it allthe more because I had just gonethrough seven or eight years oftrying to find enough money to eatevery day and pay my rent. (J_heFilms in My Life 17)Besides writing, making friends with future film-makers,and helping Andre Bazin with his "Travail et culture" lectures,Truffaut was also rounding off his film education at theCinematheque Francaise, "the only school he respected."(Crisp 106) Cinematheque director Henri was thesecond of Truffaut's "spiritual" fathers, while RobertoRosseliini, the great NeorealisC film-maker with whom Truffautworked as an assistant director between 1956 and 1957, wasprobably the third. One could say that Jean Renoir, AlfredHitchcock arid--especial ly--Honore de Balzac were even earlierparents of the psyche, but their paternal influence was muchmore indirect. When Truffaut married for the first time atthe age of 25, it was to Madeleine Mor gens tern, the? daughterof a producer. That same year he made the best and most16typical of his short films, Les Mistons. A bout du souffle(1959),. Jean-LAIC Godard.' s first feature, was developed froma 15 page treatment drafted by, while Les 400 coups,the director's own maiden long metrage, was shown at Cannesthat same year. Along with the scores of other first-timedirectors who made up the French New Wave, Truffaut would sitwith his friends in little cafes, "en general a la sortie descinemas" (Le Roman 18).From this point onwards, Truffaut.'s "real" experiencesbecame increasingly entangled with those of his fictionalprotagonists. Books read and films seen contributed as muchto his vision as events enjoyed or suffered. By his ownadmission, Truffaut was a true nostalgic, "totalement tournevers le passe." (Gillain 197)Beginning with Les 400 coups, none of Truffaut's filmswould fit into a purely "authentic" time frame. Forideological as well as economic reasons, he was obliged to sethis first feature in the present tense late-1950s, rather thanthe era in which his childhood, actually unfolded. This timelag would travel through all five "chapters" in the AritoineDoinel saga and occasionally produce a sense of confusion.Mores from one decade would frequently be superimposed on thoseon the next. Indeed, much of the motivation behind the making°f Le Dernier metro ostensibly lay in the director's desireto transmit "the horrible vision of adults" he'd had duringthe Occupation in an historically accurate milieu.17Throughout his life, Truffaut would issue contradictorystatments concerning the veracity of Les 400 coups. If inhis introduction to The Adventures of Antoine Doinel he couldargue, "without going into all the ugly details, I can testifythat what I went through was considerably tougher than whatis shown in the film" (The Adventures of Antoine Doinel 9),he could also protest that:... if I had wished to put my adolescenceinto images, I would not have asked MarcelMoussy to come and collaborate on thescreenplay and to write the dialogue.If the young Antoine sometimes resemblesthe turbulent adolescent I was, hisparents are absolutely unlike mine,who were excellent, but on the contrary,are more like the families who confrontedeach other on the TV program Ci C'Etait\/o_us which Marcel Moussy was writing. . . .(Truffaut by Truffaut 57)The veracity of this dubious, "si.teorn" version of thedirector's past is contradicted not only by his well-documented working methods, but by much incidental material3as well. There is, for instance, in the published versionof Les 400 coups, a passage describing the behaviour demandedof the young Antoine that is virtually indistinguishable fromthe autobiographical recollections already quoted:As long as he does nothing., and remainssilent in a corner, reading a book,there is no problem—she simply ignoreshim. But the slightest reminder ofthe childish presence, i.e., an untimely burstof laughter, a question, any noise,a fit of coughing, is sufficient to18awaken her hostility against him.CThe Adventures of Antoine Doinel 43)One is similarly struck by the marked absence of thedirector's parents from virtually all the adult lettersappearing in his posthumously published volume ofcorrespondence. A rare exception to the, rule provides littlereassurance that his revisionist protestations were anythingother than a child's transparent attempts to avoid inflaminghis parents' wrath stilj further:I saw my parents again, both of themtogether, at a lunch at rny mother'splace. She thought La Peau Douce wasa Ii111e less vuigar than Jules et Jimand my father is seeing the filmnext week. (Letters 271)Although Marcel Moussy "novelized" Les 400 coups aftercollaborating on the screenplay, the voice that speaks fromthis text is virtually indistinguishable from that of Truffautin his self-revelatory mode. When, for instance, young Antoineis asked by a government psychologist why'"he doesn't love hismother", the boy nervously replies:--Parce que d'afoord j'etais en puis quand iis ont plus eu d'argent,ils m'ont mis chez ma grand-mere elle a vieilii et toutca...eile pouvait plus me garder...alors je suis venu chez mes parents,a ce moment-la; je 1'avais deja me suis apercu que ma mere,elle m'aimait pas teliement; elle medisputait toujours eb puis, pour rien. . . j 'ai entendu que. . .que ma mere19elle m'avait eu quand elle etait.-.eliem'avoit filie-mere, puis avecma grand-mere aussi, elle s'estdisputee une fois, la j'ai su crueelle avait voulu me faire avorter et!puis si je suis ne c'etait grace a magrand-mere. C^loussy 154 - 155)Antoine's father, on the other hand, was described as"nice but cowardly1' since his horror of scenes was so greathe gratefully turned a blind eye to his own cuckoldry. (Moussy155) Thus, what we have here is a scenario of emotionalneglect and abuse accompanied by co-dependency, a pre-sexualrevolution "scandal" nearly terminated by abortion, anessentially 19th century situation in terms of its morality,especially when one considers the father's "Balzacian"complacency.Although this is not the proper place to explore thistheme in depth, in a future chapter it will be shown howTruffane's life-long love of Balzac was at least partiallyinspired by the structural similarities between the great 19thcentury novelist's family and his own. By the same token,the very different upbringing of Henri-Pierre Roche, the authorof Jules et Jim and Les Deux anglaises et le continent,encouraged a certain emotional distance between the creators,despite Truffaut's unreserved admiration for Roche's texts.To love something, Truffaut had first to understand it fromthe inside out. A pained, deprived childhood was the surestway to win his sympathy.It would be wrong, however, to conclude from this thatLes 400 coups is entirely concerned with autobiographical20issues. The director was equally interested in childrenin general, and their problems in particular. His abstractthesis statements are at least as pertinent to hisaesthetic motivations as are his more personal confessions,such as the following reflection on Les 400 coups:...adolescence leaves pleasant memoriesonly for adults who can't remember. Whenyou're in that difficult age, thethirteenth year is your bad lucktime: discovery of injustice, firstsexual curiosity left unsatisfied,too early desires for social independence,and often lack of family affection.(Truffaut by Truffaut 57)Of course, when talking about the experience of childhood,distinctions between the public and private spheres tendedto blur in Truffaut's mind:J'avals toujours eteT impatient d' n'etais pas, mais enfinj'etais impatient d'etre independant.Je n'avais aucune nostalgie de 1'enfance.J'avals 1'impression que le monde adulteetait celui de 1' irnpunite, ceiui ou ona le droit de tout faire et ou en peutrire des choses parce que rien n'estgrave.... (Desjardins 25)Truffaut was genuinely interested in what children hadto say, and this interest led to unusually fruitfulcollaborations between director and cast. Much of the dialogue^n Les 400 coups, for instance, was improvised by the youngactors, a liberty that resulted in a remarkable feeling ofversimilitude which has endured, even if the strategem's21short term goal of avoiding "dated" argot has already beensubverted by time. Similarly, when casting the film, Truffautrefrained from telling his young hopefuls that they were beingtested for major parts because he planned to mitigate the"cote; tres cruel de 1' elimination" by placing as many aspossible1 behind the 30 desks surrounding Aritoine's. (Desjardins36)Dealing with parents "who were cumbersome because theyfelt their children were cumbersome 'r the director discoveredJean-Pierre Leaud among his unschooled actors, fatefullychoosing him to be his "alter ego" even though the boy wasboth, "healthier" and "raore aggressive" than Truffaut had beenat his a9e- (Desjardins, 40) Naturally, these differenceswere more than counterbalanced by Leaud's childhood, which wasevery bit as troubled as those of both Truffaut himself andhis literary idol. Honors de Balzac. As the developing actorinterpreted not only the onscreen growing pains of his"spiritual father", but also those of the fictional characterswith whom the director felt most in tune, their relationshipgrew ever- more complex. By the late 1970s, Leaud had evenbegun to physically resemble his mentor to a disturbingdegree, a development which is most evident in their lastcinematic collaboration, L'Amour en fu_i_te. It was doubtlessthis "doppeiganger" element in their "bonding" thatinduced Dominique Fanne to write, "Antoine Doinei,f -^ ^.exterieuremenL Leaud, interieurement Truffaut;, mais peut-etreaussi 1' inverse. ..." ."Fanne 167)In Truffaut.'s case, the connection between fatherhood22and film-making is too palpable to ignore. It was Andre Bazin,after all, and not the director's biological (?) father whohad helped him with his film society, gotten him out of reformschools, insane asylums and military jails, provided him withthe opportunity to write film reviews, and introduced him tothe government officials who would finance his first short films,Similarly, Henri Langlois took care of his informal education,while Renoir, Rossellini, Hitchcock, Bresson, Roche and Balzacfurnished his imagination with the timber from which he wouldeventually construct his own oeuvre. All the ''parents" headmired were his elders, and since he responded to who theywere primarily through what they did, it seems to have matteredlittle whether a given father was initially living or dead.Indeed, looked at from a certain angle, there were distinctadvantages to loving "fathers" who were already dead. Onecould not, for example, be deprived of Honore de Balzac,deceased since 1850, in the same way that one could be bereftof Andre Bazin, who died in 1958. Implicit in all humancontact is the possibility of grief. If what art has to offeris less tangible than interpersonal relationships, it's alsoless subject to temporal fluctuations. To iris credit, Truffautnever favoured one option to the point of excluding the other.In many respects, he used books and films to keep the ''world"at arm's length, but this retreat did not preclude interestin others and personal warmth.Truffaut's interactions with "directorial" fatners wouldhave been more or less the same, one suspects, even if he hadnot known them personally. Whatever sustenance he derived from23them was sown on the screen. Roberto Rossellini might haveemployed Truffaut as an assistant director, but none of theirprojects came to fruition. In fact, on the level of practicalassistance, Truffaut generally behaved more like a fathertowards his "fathers" tnan they did towards their "son".Hitchcock, after all, was the beneficiary of the director/critic's adulatory book of interviews. Bresson was championedby Truffaut, Renoir's late films were lavishly praised inTruffaut's reviews, and Cocteau might never have produced LeTestament d'Orphee if not for his young admirer's wholeheartedhelp with this 1959 "swan song". The director actually namedhis production company after Renoir's 1952 feature. LaCarrosse d'or. The compliments Renoir returned to his youngeradmirer were not altogether innocent of envy, while Hitchcockdemanded many changes in che interview book.Once again, however, Truffaut remained loyal to theenthusiasms of his youth and childhood. Not even the artisticfailure of his more "Hit.ehcoc.kian" films, such as La Mariee/ en noir (1967), could deflect him from his near-idolatry.To a CBC interviewer he once said, "n'oubliez pas que j'avalsgrand! dans la peur et que Hitchcock est le cineaste de lai tpeur. (Desjardiris 31 - 32)Perhaps unsurprisingly, only Henri Langlois seems tohave almost equalled Bazin's paternal importance on apersonal level. For him, the Cinernatheque was "the only schoolhe respected, and represented all that was worth fighting forin his world" (Crisp 106). Thus, when the Gauilist governmenttried to replace Langlois with a party hack, Truffaut led the24successful counterattack that resulted in the film programmer'sofficial reinstatement, even though, amongst other indignities,the director was beaten by the Parisian riot police.In Baisers voles, the third "volume" of the AntoineDoinel "novel", there are no fewer than three homages to theembattled Langlois. The film opens with a lingering shot ofthe Cinematheque's sealed doors. A little later on,Christine Darbon, the object of Antoine's affections and hisfuture wife, describes a demonstration on behalf of a belovedteacher at her music conservatory, a teacher who is astransparently Langlois as the conservatory is the Cinematheque.Somewhat more subtly, the older detective who initiatesAntoine in the mysteries of private investigation is called"Andre", a reference to Bazin that neatly divides the importanceof theoretical and practical apprenticeship.Still, whatever filial "infidelities" Truffaut might havepracticed, Andre Bazin clearly enjoyed pride of place in hisheart. When talking of his mentor, he seems to be describingthe fulfillment of every unmet childhood need:II pouvait djseuter avec n'importequi, parlementer avec des agents depolice dans la rue; il partait dupiincipe que les gens sont de bonnef o i, i 1 eta i t de bonne' f o i 1 u i - meme;il n'avait jamais 1'idee de rapportde force, jamais 1'idee de ruse...C'stait la meme chose avec son enfantqui avait cinq ou six ans, il luidisait: "Evidemment, ies parents „traditioriels te^donnerait une fessee,mais etant donne que je n'y croispas, je ne te le dormerai pas..."II parlait a son fils comme a un adulte.f s sc etait tres etonnant a voir. (Desjardins28 - 29)Having been raised in a family that valued sport andsilence above all things, Truffaut was rescued by a "father"who put movies, communication, and personal authenticity atthe pinnacle of his private pantheon. He would talk to "anyone",arid being from the lower middle class himself, Truffaut wasacutely aware that inclusion in the conversations of the upperbourgeoisie was not his by right. Above all, though, Bazinwas a man who was as kind and "democratic" towards childrenas he was enthusiastic about all of Truffaut's adult passions.In the next chapter we will see how this unconditional affectionseems to have resulted in Truffaut's taking certainuncharacteristic critical positions.Even so, it would be wrong to assume from this that the"apprentice" ever swore unconditional fealty to the "master's"Christian socialist positions. As Janine Bazin, the critic's^widow, recalled: "Les rapports de Bazin et de Francois n'etaient/N. *• •%.pas ceux d un maitre et d'un eleve, mais de deux personnes qui>• 'aiment le cinema et en parlent chacun suivant son temperamentet sa formation." (Le Roman 14)As late as 1972, the director could still write, "Andredied twenty-four years ago. One might think the passage oftime has assuaged the feeling of his absence. This is not thecase.. (Truffaut by Truffaut 19)If Bazin was almost 14 years Truffaut's senior, Jean-Pierre Leaud was a good 15 years his junior. His onscreenevolution would always retain elements of ''double exposure"26thanks to the unavoidable time lag between his coming of ageand Truffaut's. In Les 400 coups he had to contend with theghostly presence of the German occupation of France, whilemany of his Baisers voles attitudes properly belonged to theearly 1950s, and not to that most revolutionary of years, 1968.If not for the great intuitive understanding between film-makerand performer, this problem would be even more intrusive thanit is.That Leaud felt much the same way about Truffaut thatTruffaut did about Bazin is made manifest in his brief memorialtribute: "Je dois tous a Francois. Non seulement il rnecommuriiqua son amour pour le cinema: mais il me donna le plusbeau metier du monde, il fit du moi un acteur." (Le Roman 40)By the time Les 400 coups went into production, itsdirector was already a father in the biological sense of theword, but he was latterly inclined to disparage his abilitiesin this direction,. Ironically, since his daughters werebetter at both sports and athletics than he had been, theymight well be precisely the children that Truffaut's ownparents had secretly wished for. After his divorce fromMadeleine Morgenstern, the director chastised himself for beingtoo "jokey" with his daughters, of never having a seriousconversation with them, "perhaps because they're girls"(Desjardins 56 -57). By default, Truffaut's ex-wife assumedthe greater part of their upbringing.This peculiar melange of warmth, sexism, paternalaffection and self-deprecation, like so many other aspects ofthe film-maker's personality, seems to belong to another timeand place. Truffaut's backward-looking romanticism frequentlygave a 19th century cast to his recorded comments. For example,his "Orientalist" complaints that Les 400 coups didn't "sell"in the Middle East because there children are treated likeroyalty (Desjardins 40), is something Gerard de Nerval wouldbe more wont to say than Claude Levi-Strauss. In a subsequentchapter, we will consider more fully the "nostalgia" that leftTruffaut open to charges of political conservatism orirrelevance.Such accusations are seldom levelled against his firstfeature, Les 400 coups. By harking back to the Popular Frontaesthetics of his cinematic forefathers, _ ^.^cregardless of content. The film's anarchistic spirit is perhapsbest epitomized by the loving long shot in which an entireclass of boys disappears down serpentine back alleys when theirathletics instructor takes them jogging through the streetsof Paris. Everything from the teacher's absurd self-importanceto his shrill whistle is meant to remind us of Jean Vigo'sblistering attack against the French educational system. Zerode conduite. In a similar vein, Antoine and Rene's passionfor Bob le flambeur (1955) is more than just a period updateof the director's wartime obsession with Les Visiteurs du solr(1942). Jean-Pierre Melville's proto-Nouvelle Vague policierwas also an elegaic swan song for the vanishing sights ofMontmartre, the "nocturnal" district which had served as abackdrop for so many of Jean Renoir's early films.From a psychological point of view, the most strikingdifference between the lives of Antoine Doinel arid Francois28Truffaut would seem to be the genders of their respective"saviours". Onscreen, the director's ''spiritual fathers" arereplaced en b1oc by substitute "mothers". Paternity andpatriarchy are definitely not synonyms in this universe wherefather figures are seldom more than a comfortable part of thebackground bourgeois decor. FI. Darbon, Christine's father,eptiomizes this character type. Andre, the avuncular detectivewho takes the unemployed Antoine under his wing, is the closestapproximation to a "spiritual father" that the Antoine Dolnelfilms can produce, and riot coincidental iy he dies half waythrough Baisers voles. It seems likely in fact that it isAntoine's very fatherlessness which most endears the characterto his creator.Biological fathers are also singularly absent fromTruffaut's oeuvre. For masculine role models, young Antoinemust rely on his stepfather, the? man who married his unwedmother. Alphonse, the passive hero of Les deux anglaises etle continent (also played, incidentally, by Jean-Pierre Leaudj,lives with his widowed mother. In Tirez sur le pianiste, bothof Charlie Kohler's parents are apparently still living, butthey are notably absent, almost ghostly figures, when hereturns to the family farm. Adele H's father is none otherthan Victor Hugo, but his presence is restricted to "Olympian"Voice Over letters. Unlike their fictional antecedents, Jules,Jim and Catherine would seem to be devoid of elder relativesof any kind in the screen version of Jules et Jim. Theatreand film provide the respective familial contexts in LeDernier metro and La Nuit americaine (1973). The most29sympathetic teacher in L'Argent de poche (1976) witnesses thebirth of his first child, but that baby plays no subsequent,part in the film's proceedings. If anything, significant maleprogenitors are even scarcer in La Peau douce, Fahrenheit: 451,^ *•" xLa Mariee etait en noir. La Sirene de la Mississippi (1969),La Chainbre verte (1978), La Femme dj a cote (1981), andVivernent Dimanche (1983). The father in Une Belle fille commemoi (1973) is a brute who exists only to be comically killed.Because Truffaut himself played Dr. Itard, the late 18thcentury savant who tried to "tame" the wolf boy of Avignon inL'Enfant sauvage, the director's screen version of thathistorical event, it. has been suggested that the "wild child"was Truffaut and the doctor Andre Bazin (Samuels 51).Considering the icy correctness with which this scientisttreats his wolf-raised pupil, and the limited success heachieved, this conjecture seems somewhat unlikely. Itard'sdemeanor contradicts everything we know about the pedagogicaltechniques of both Bazin and Truffaut. Even the film'sdedication to Jean-Pierre Leaud should not tempt us to makeoverly explicit parallels. L'Enfant sauvage was released in1969, after all, a full decade after Les 400 coups, so it'squite possible that this homage was made to mark the ascensionof the film-maker's "fetish" actor to full manhood. In anyevent, the film cannot be read as the director's definitivestatement on the rites of fatherhood. If one knew Truffaut onlyfrom his films, one would be inclined to suspect that hisfatherless world view was more or less synonomous with that30of the eponymous hero of L' Homme qui alma it I es^  femmes (1977).As mentioned earlier, Truffaut does not seem to havediscussed the issue of his own legitimacy with the press, but.Antoine's bastardy unquestionably throws him even morecompletely on the mercies of his indifferent mother. Doinelsenior is thereby reduced to the stature of a weak, reasonablygood-natured "guy" who voluntarily assumes the mantle offatherhood. This means that the only parent who cannot evadethe responsibility of child-rearing is the one who most wantsto do so. If M. Doinel is cast in a more favourable lightthan is his wife, he is also regarded as the weaker of thetwo partners, and this weakness engenders contempt. Inrelation to this portrait, one can't help but remember thatit was Truffaut's father who surrendered his "erring" son tothe authorities. That he would do so at someone else's behestto cravenly maintain the illusion of domestic tranquillitymakes him appear even more despicable.That the director considered such behaviour to be"normal", if not exactly "natural", is made clear in oneinterview after another:...on m ' a d'avoir deshommes faibles et des femmes quidecidaient, des fernmes qui commandaientdes evenements; mais je crois quec'est comme ca dans la vie, en touscas c'est comme ca dans mes films....(Desjard i ns 51)When riot performing "hit man" duty on h j s son, Anto ins ' s31father is constantly trying to patch up the "quarrel" betweenmother and child. That he does not see how one-sided thisdispute really is stems directly from his cowardly need forself-deception. Her ''difficult" nature is explained entirelyin terms of their crowded quarters and her unfortunate workingconditions. When he tells this 13 year old boy, "you knowhow offices are. They always take advantage of women," hedepicts his own cuckoldry in a sanitized, unthreatening form."But she loves you, you know," this snivelling speech'smendacious conclusion, is similarly contradicted by everythingthat has gone before. First M. Doinel explains why his wifeis too preoccupied to love her son, then he contradictorilyasserts that she does. Even his assumption of fullresponsibility for her unhappiness is motivated by fear ofconfrontation rather than generosity of spirit. (The 400_Blows 49 - 50)That Doinel is objectively his wife's tool is furtherreaffirmed during the sequence where the candles igniteAritoine's "shrine to Balzac". Madame Doinel slaps her husbandangrily on the back and orders her son to fetch water. Whenthe boy returns, he accidentally spills most of this liquidon the elder Doinel, a circumstance which prompts Antoine'sfather to throw him against the wall and brutally cross-examinehim while his wife methodically beats out the flame. Thefurious incomprehension that emerges from his mouth is morehers than his, since Doinel has already shown himself to befairly easy-going and a shrewd judge of childish characterwhen not intimidated by his wife's presence. Earlier, when32Antoine had asked him for a thousand francs, he gave himprecisely half that sum, correctly assuming that the boy needed300 while hoping for 500 (Moussy 29). By the gradualaccumulation of telling details such as this, Truffaut letsus know that M. Doinel is something far worse than naive.In colloquial French, the phrase "les 400 coups"generally refers to raising "hell", but in the case of thefilm-maker's first feature, it seems to be painfully literal.At least 400 physical and emotional blows fall on Antoine'sunprotected head. Antoine and Rene are most commonly seen on"la rue des martyres". According to Truffaut, he had to forcehis young star to stop grinning: "For three months I wascontinually stopping him from smiling...I'm sure I was right."(Crisp 26) In this context, Truffaut really does sound a bitlike Dr. Itard.Based on the evidence of his films, however, it wouldseem that this attempt to wipe the grin off Leaud's onscreenface was scarcely less gruelling for the director than it wasfor his star. His true attitudes are probably best expressedby the scene in Les 400 coups where Antoine and Rene brieflyjoin the audience of a puppet show. Significantly, most ofthe spectators are far younger than they. One of their mostvexatious problems involves finding pleasures and companionshipequal to their personal development. Objectively, they areneither children nor adults. Thus, when Antoine is accusedby P'tite Feuille of plagiarizing a page of Balzac, his adultcomponent is technically guilty of the charge, while hischildlike side is simply expressing enthusiasm and revelling33in the joys of literary imagination. This unresolvedcontradiction is eloquently transmitted by an earlier shotthat shows us the boy reading La Recherche de I'absolu whileprecociously smoking. For Antoine, to copy out a page thatone loves is reverence, not plagiarism. P'bite Feuille, ofcourse, that unsubtle "corrector" of poetic syntax, is totallyincapable of appreciating the fineness of this distinction.Although it is his most famous film about childhood,Les 400 coups is, in many respects, less concerned with thesubject than is the director's much later feature, L' Argent,de poche. Certain scenes, notably the one centred on the"amateur" haircut, were in fact transferred from the firstscreenplay to the second. What's more, in place of buddingadolescents, L ^ _Argent de poche featured children proper. It'sgenerally much lighter in tone, except for the dark sub-plotsurrounding the abuse of Julien. Whether this relativegaiety should be attributed to the youthfulness of theprotagonists or to a general softening of the director'sauthorial rigour is a question that cannot properly beanswered, because of its intimate and unavoidable connectionto the viewer's relation to Truffaut's oeuvre as a whole.As the film-maker changed, so did Aritoine Doinel duringthe two decades that elapsed between 1959 and 1979. This"young man of the nineteenth century" (The Adventures of AntoineDoinel 11) would fee created with less indulgence as the yearsroiled on:Antoine Doinel is far from being an34exemplary character: he has charm andtakes advantage of it, he lies a greatdeal and demands more love than heis willing to offer; he is not man ingeneral, he is a man in particular.(The Adventures of Antoine Doiriel 12)Truffaut claimed that his increasingly "severe approach"to his alter ego was directly related to age, "since 1 amnever as gentle with adults as I am with adolescents" (TheAdventures of Antoine Doinel 12).Perhaps not,but even as late as L'Amour en fuite, we arenot permitted to forget the depth of Antoine's early anguish.Although his parents never appeared onscreen again after Leg400 coups, in the final film in the cycle he does meet"Monsieur Lucien", the lover whom Antoine had seen embracinghis mother in the streets of Paris 20 years before. MadameDoinel, we learn, died while Antoine was in military prison.Even though their encounter is quite pleasant, Antoine bitesdown on his sandwich in sorrowful anger when Monsieur Lucieninsists, with a blindness that would do credit to Doinelsenior, that "she loved you bizarreiy perhaps, but she did loveyou" (Avant-Scene 254 48). His mother has been in the groundfor more than a decade, but her admirers are still trying toconvince Antoine that she truly cared. In film after film wesee the same elements reappearing: philandering heroes whoseobsessive love for women is constantly undermined by child-hood-rooted doubts; strong women and weak men; the joys ofquotidian existence precariously balanced over an abyss ofcosmic uncertainty. As it was in the beginning—childhood--, so shall it be in the end--adul thooct--, and ail becausethe Truffautian hero is constitutionally incapable ofconvincing himself of the one lie that would make his lifebearable: that he was loved by his mother.36Notes to Chapter TwoJ" Onscreen evidence of this; particular aspect ofTruffaut's background is perhaps most evident in La Chambreverte, a brooding, literary film about a middle-aged journalistin the 1920s who spends most of his time in the cemetery,mourning his late wife and his friends killed in the war.Because of its love for the written word and rather oddobsession with the Great War (a disproportionate emphasis whichone also finds in Jules et Jim), the film's concerns wouldseem at first glance to be more "mainstream" than they actuallyare. Hints of this fascination with funereal masonry can alsobe observed in L'Homme qui aimait les femmes and L'Amour enfuite.2 Mirelia Jona Affron's brief introduction to thepublished screenplay of Le Dernier metro observes that"Truffaut...bad wanted the adventures of the young AntoineDoinel to be served by 'a thousand details of his adolescencethat were tied to the period of the Occupation, but the film'sbudget and the spirit of the 'New Wave1 were not compatiblewith the notion of a 'period film'." (The Last Metro 3)3While all parties seem to have found the experienceagreeable, script collaborations between Truffaut and his co-scenarists have typically been perceived in radically differentways. While the director made a point of giving most of thecredit to his associates, they in turn insisted on the paramountimportance of Truffaut's input. Such authorial claims as ''Ihave never written a shooting script" (Letters 144), should37therefore be taken with a grain of salt. Jean Gruault, forinstance, one of the director's favourite screenwriters,explained how he would write the dialogue following thefilm-maker's instructions, after which Truffaut would re-writeit, substituing his own words for Gruault's (Le Roman 60).Nowhere is the director's influence more profound and all-permeating than it is in the novelization of Les 400 coups.Ostensibly written by Blows' scenarist Marcel Moussy as a soloeffort, this book contains scenes that aren't in the movie butwhich nonetheless seem thematicaliy appropriate to the then-unrealized Doinel cycle. In particular, the scene where thepsychologist berates Madame Doinei for her lack of maternalaffection reads like a scene that was devoutly wished by anauthor other than Moussy.5' " Of all Truffaut's relatives, the hardest to "read"in her onscreen incarnations is his maternal grandmother. Aswe have already seen, she demanded the same unnatural silencefrom him that his mother did. On the other hand, she alsoinspired the young Truffaut with her love of literature and,if Les 400 coups in a reliable record in this respect, perhapseven saved him from the abortionist's needle. Also on thepositive side is the novel on bigotry which Truffaut'sgrandmother reputedly wrote but Lacked the courage to publish.This portrait becomes even more complex when it includes thehorrific grandmother in L'Argent de poche, the vicious oldwoman who conspires with her daughter to physically mistreather grandson. This "team work" can't help but remind usuncomfortably of the parallel silent treatments that the38director allegedly suffered at the hands of his own femalerelatives. While this scenario could well be pure fiction,with equal ease it could also be the "Freudian slip" exposingthe unexpressed horrors that Truffaut hinted he'd kept hiddenfrom outside eyes.39CHAPTER THREE: LOVE OF FILMline vocation exclusive, oui, le cinemaa i'exciusivite absoiue. (Desjardins58)From earliest childhood till the day he died, cinemawas employed by Truffaut as a buffer against "life". As ayouthful viewer, it transported him from the prisonhouse ofyouth to the free air of adulthood. Then, as a highlyinfluential Parisian film critic, movies permitted Truffautto earn his living doing something he loved. Finally, as aprofessional cineaste, the director was able to rneld what heloved onscreen with what he had experienced himself in a mannerwhich was meaningful to others and which served to insulatehim further from the more painful aspects of quotidianexistence. As one chronicler observed, "Truffaut's early film-going experiences were flavored by what we might call 'sinema':not only were his excursions into the darkness clandestine,they were also accompanied by a growing awareness ofsexuality." (Insdorf 15)It is Truffaut's reviewing years that remain mostcontroversial. Although he devoted the better part of theyears 1973 - 1975 Lo the composition of The Films in My Life,it was during the seven years preceding the release of Leg400 coups that his critical career can truly be said to haveunfolded. After that, his writing was essentially a stringof elegaic tributes paid to fallen heroes. Throughout the401950s, he was almost universally regarded as the '"deadliest"of film critics, being temporarily banned from the Cannes FilmFestival on account of his uncompromising views.His early film aesthetics were motivated by a. sort ofromantic anarchism. He defiantly declared, "J'ai une mefiancetotale a i'egard des groupements humains, de 1'homme aupluriel,,. En revanche, j'ai un amour tres grand de 1'hommeau singulier.1' (Fanne 30)Such sentiments could not help but arouse controversyin advanced French film circles where the Stalinism of theLiberation era had not yet been supplanted. Compared to Bazin'sChristian socialist views, Truffaut's attitudes could at timesseem almost fascist. They were not, however, and posterityhas confirmed his positions more often than not.According to fellow critic/film-maker Eric Rohmer,Truffaut was the best stylist of all the writers connected toCahiers du cinema. What's more, ^ e was more Stendhal!an thanBalzacian, despite the critic's pronounced preference for thelatter author. (Le Roman 20 - 21)Even more tellingly, the current generation of Cahierscritics has argued that it wasn't until after the publicationof "Une certaine tendance du cinema francais" that the magazine"naissent comrne courant d'opinion et comme ecole. " (Cahiersd_a_cin_ema 365 ("Les Journalades") I)Ironically, it is that particular article whichcontributes most strongly to both Truffaut's positive criticalreputation and to the lingering suspicion chat he was, atbottom, a reactionary. To synthesize this seemingly41uriresoivabie snarl of contradictions, one must consider manythings, including the author's past and future, the generalthrust of his critical writings, his association with AndreBazin, and his "unmediated" relationship to classical Frenchfilm and literature. To attempt to interpret its meaningwithin a narrower frame of reference is a formula formisunderstanding.John Hess does precisely that in "La Politique desAuteurs", a two-part article originally published in Jump Gut"As a result of their cultural and social milieu, the auteurcritics came to value the spiritual dimension of life morethan participation in society," he argues (Hess I 19). Evenworse.La politigue des auteurs was, in fact,a justification couched in aestheticterms, of a culturally conservative,politically reactionary attempt toremove film from the realm of socialand political concern, in which theprogressive forces of the Resistancehad placed ail the arts in the yearsimmediately after the war....(Hess I 19)Cahiers da cinema, it seems, was a house organ where the"disciples" were far worse than the "prophet":...while Bazin was more interested inthe mutual interdependence of all thingsand the revelation of the divine orderin the world, the auteur critics weremore concerned with the transcendence andsalvation of the individual. (Hess I 20)To be fair, a close reading of Truffaut's famous articlewould seem to confirm even Hess's harshest judgements. Theyoung critic takes his betes noires, screenwriters JeanAurenche and Pierre Bost, to task for, amongst other things,loading their scripts with "blasphemy", '"obscenity" andpacifist sentiment. He is particularly incensed by theirdecision to stick the words "When one is dead, everything isdead" at the end of their unproduced screenplay of GeorgesXBernanos' s Journal _d' un __cure de campagno in place of theauthor's, "What does it matter, all is grace." Elsewhere,he condemns them for placing too many swear words into a singlescript, and he implicitly disapproves of the authors' tendencyto intrude their own anti-militarist ideology into whateverscenario they happen to be working on at the time. Truffautsneers, "They behave, vis-a-vis the scenario, as if theythought to reeducate a delinquent by finding him a job"(Nichols 229).In the preceding passage, one finds the very personalkey to Truffaut's dislike for Aurenche and Bost and the "cinemaof quality" for which he felt they stood. Being basically anuneducated r_ive__droijbe boy himself, Truffaut did not takekindly to being lectured on the evils of the bourgeoisie bywriters whose bourgeois credentials were incomparably moreimpeccable than his own. After being ignored by mother andgrandmother, betrayed by father, talked down to by teachers,and bullied by superior officers, he bitterly resented beingtold, now to think. On the political level, what he rejected43in Aurenche and Bost was not their "radicalism", but, rather,their liberal Men peasant oversimplifications andsentimentalities.Because Truffaut loved literature with the same fervourwith which he adored film, he was implacably hostile to themongrelization' °f either beloved medium. "When they hand intheir scenario," the critic complained, "the film is done;the metteur-en-scene, in their eyes, is the gentleman who addsthe pictures to it and it's true, alas!" (Nichols 233) WhenTruffaut chides Aurenche and Bost for being "literary" ratherthan "men of the cinema", he is really attacking their lackof "life". He wrote:Aurenche and Bost were unable to makeThe Diary of a Country Priest becauseBernanos was alive. Bresson declaredthat were Bemanos alive he wouldhave taken more liberties. Thus,Aurenche and Bost are annoyed becausesomeone is alive,, but Bresson is annoyedbecause he is dead. (Nichols 228)Truffaut also inveighs against the existence of"unfiimable scenes". He was far from certain that "thesescenes, decreed unfiimable, would be so for everyone" (Nichols227). From the vantage point of the 1990s, it seems probablethat the "blasphemy" the critic most objected to was thedesecration of the "host" (i.e. the original literary text).Even during this most vitriolic stage of his career,though, Truffaut still preferred to praise what he loved morethan damn what he hated. In "The Rogues are Weary", another44Cahiers article from the '50s, he celebrated the writer/director's freedom to "replace scenes and dialogue typical ofwhat scriptwriters produce with scenes and dialogue that ascriptwriter could never dream up" (Hillier 28).Perhaps because he was over-compensating for hisperceived lack of formal academic training, Truffaut's opinionsultimately proved more influential than those of hisuniversity-educated peers:It is well known that the New Wavedeveloped along much the same linesas Truffaut prescribed. What is lessknown is that, of all those who wereto form the group, he alone had clearlyand concisely enunciated the principlesover the preceding years. (Crisp 16)C.G. Crisp's emphasis on Truffaut's intellectualseriousness is matched and counterpointed by James Monaco'sreminder of his political courage and integrity:... it has been the received opinionthat Godard is the only politicalintelligence of the New Wave.Yet it was Truffaut, not Godard, whospent time in the brig for desertingfrom the army; Truffaut who in 1960signed "Le manifesto des 121" organizedby Sartre, which urged French soldiersto desert rather than f1gnL againstthe Algerian people; and Truffautwho in 1968 organized the events ofMay. Truffaut did have politicalsentiments, even if they were notovertly displayed in his films.(Monaco 39)What Truffaut could not abide, on the other hand, was45abstract allegiance to abstract causes. For him, people hadfaces; they were never "the People".Indeed, it was Godard's treatment of individuals, ratherthan his Kaoist ideological affiliations, that promptedTruffaut's public rupture with his former friend and colleagueReacting angrily to an insulting request for money, Truffautcharged in a famous're the Ursula Andress of militancy,you make a brief appearance, justenough time for the cameras to flash,,you make two or three duly startlingremarks and then you disappear again,trailing clouds of self-serving mystery.Opposed to you are the small men,from Bazin to Edmond Maire and takingin Sartre, Bunuel, Queneau, Mendes-France, Rohrner and Audiberti, whoask others how they're getting on,who help them fill out a social securityform, who reply to their letters--what they have in common is the capacityto think of others rather than themselvesand above all to be more interestedin what they do than in what theyare or what they appear to be. (Letters390)Reflected in this complaint is the memory of the timewhen Truffaut himself needed help and of the man who sounstintingly provided it. Whatever paternalistic tendenciesmight have existed in Truffaut were always counter-balancedby this freely acknowledged debt. Thus, he wrote in theintroduction to Andre Bazin's posthumously published study ofJean Renoir, of his inability to speak "dispassionately" ofthe text, admitting that it was "quits natural that I shouldfeel that Jean Renoir by Andre Bazin is the best book on the46cinema, written by the best critic, about the best director."(Jean Renoir 7)In Truffaut's mind, the line between creators and theircreations was not always distinct. Personal authenticity wasof paramount importance even when the critic did not share theartist's beliefs. Truffaut respected the faith of GeorgesBernanos' j-n tne same way that he "blessed" the orthodoxy ofJohn Ford. Unlike many atheists, he had no wish toproselytize his lack of faith. What mattered to him, was thata creator believed in something and remained true to his ownvision. For him, the "cinema of quality" was as "soulless"as the middlebrow Hollywood "blockbuster".Tnter-estingly enough, while he had no qualms aboutberating Aurenche and Bost for their anti-militarist"propaganda", both Jules et Jim and La Chambre yerte areinformed by an almost visceral hatred of World War One.Similarly, the heroines of both Tirez sur l_e pianiste- and Unebelle f i11e coffline mo i are far more foul-mouthed than any ofthe female protagonists found in Bost and Aurenche'sscreenplays. One likewise looks in vain for a "transcendent"religious image in any of Truffaut's films.These contradictions lead one to agree that, as a criticTruffaut might have been "virulent and outspoken", but "as afilm-maker he reveals a totally different side of hispersonality" (Armes 127).Of course, this "flip-flop" iias led some theorists toconclude that the director eventually degenerated into alatterday practitioner of "le cinema de papa". Nevertheless,47despite his admiration for American movies, Truffaut neverdisowned the Popular Front "patrimony" that he inherited fromthe French film-makers of the 1930s.It is probably not coincidental that the film-maker'sleast successful movies were those that most slavishlyfollowed the formulae of Alfred Hitchcock, Truffaut's^ s"Hollywood" model. La Mariee eta^ en ngir and Une belj^ e f 11_lecomme moi seem like disastrous imitations when set beside athoroughly "Gallicizied" p_olicier like Tirez sur ie piamste.That latter film owes more to the bleak poetry of MarcelCarrie and Jean-Pierre Melville than it does to any "hard-boiled" American source novel.On the other hand, Truffaut was never particularlyenraptured by the notion of "poverty row" film-making, noteven during the formative years of the NouveIjLe^Vague. UnlikeGodard, he would, never walk down the Champs Eiysees with ahand held microphone in search of "natural" sound. He shothis first feature in Dyalisccpe, even though the then still-standard square ratio would have been more economical. Infact, it's easy to see Les 400 coups as the sort of film JeanVigo might have made if the budget for Zero de conduite (1931)had been larger.Formally, though, it was the second film that re-educated"audiences to the aesthetic possibilities of mixed genre anddisruption of tone" (Braudy 4). Of Les 400 coups, AnnetteInsdorf adds:The camera is alive and nervous.4freflecting the characters" personalities,The style is therefore as desirousof freedom as the individuals. Theword that comes to mind Is one ofAndre Gide's favor i te terms--dispon ibi1i te--a palpable freedom of the cnaracrer,camera, and film itself to go wherethey like. (Insdorf 24)Many of the film's most memorable characters — thepasser-by who talks to Charlie's brother about his love life,the female violinist whose audition with Lars Schmeel isnot successful, the aged mother who drops dead when hergangster son swears a false oath on her narne--are completelyunnecessary from an Aristotelean point of view; indeed, theyare almost as extraneous as individual audience members. Iftine film never seems ''difficult", it is because itspopulist sentiments can't bear to leave anyone out of the"joke". If a former vagabond can find his way to culture,the logic implicitly runs, then so can anyone.In Jules et Jim, Truffaut's third feature, most of RaoulCoutard's most playful hand-held shots are contained by thefilm's first half hour; after that, the cinematography becomesmore conventional while the editing, if anything, becomes morecomplex. Truffaut confessed that he feared he would dieduring this shoot, and that the montage was too complex to becompleted by anyone but himself. (Letters 125) His feelingtowards the project were probably best expressed when he said,"un film c'est un bebe qu'on protege jusqu'au bout."(Desjardins 53)Complaining that he'd "never been able to understand49flashbacks'' (Letters 144), Truffaut looked for subtler, lessintrusive means to mark the passage of time, especially whenit came to recording the ageing process. Although more than20 years of "real time" elapses in Jules et Jim, thecharacters' hair is never whitened. Instead, Jean Gruaultcame up with the inspired idea of placing Picasso canvasesfrom different periods conspicuously in the frame. (Gil lain121)Subsequent controversies over Truffaut's stylisticinnovations would be few and far between. Aside fromdif ferent-lengthed versions of Les Deux anglaises et le^ some with the director's own voice-over arid somewithout, and the use of so much archival footage in L ' Amouren fuite, few of the later films' formal elements inviteprolonged debate.For a film-maker so steeped in world cinema, Truffaut'suse of film quotation is remarkably restrained. Thesimilarities between Les 400 coups and Zero de conduite, forexample, are more "spiritual" than exact.The apartment building in Domicile conjugale is anequally discreet homage, this one to Jean Renoir's "courtyard"films of the 1930s, notably Le Crime de M. Lange (1935).None of the characters, it should be understood, were cut fromthe cloth of the previous film; even the "borrow€id" ambienceis more of an echo than a precise reconstruction.Such copying was not necessary in Truffaut's case. Aswe have already seen, his co-scenarists were filled withadmiration for the film-maker's "fictional" powers, even ifr>0he tended to disparage them.In a similar fashion, the director professed not tounderstand what made him "tick":Bruno Betteiheim explains that,with food one has the same relationshipas with one's mother, and I reallybelieve that's the case with me. Thefact remains that an hour after arneal I am incapable of saying whatI ate. It's the same thing in mywork, since, in twenty years, I havefailed to discover the recipe thatwould enable me to make nothing butgood films. (Letters 518)Nevertheless, a Truffaut "recipe" was recognized inalmost all his films, the bad as well as the good. As JohnSimon wrote, "Truffaut is not a comic filmmaker at all; hisbest efforts are, always, serious films laced with comictouches" (Something to Declare 33). Elsewhere, StanleyKauffmann opined that "for those committed to the auteur theoryof film criticism...their response to all future Truffautfilms is already pretty well formulated and awaits onlydetails of plot" (Kauffmann 255).That there is a definite mood in Truffaut films isbeyond dispute, and that mood is bittersweet. To recall thedirector's motion pictures is to mentally match parallel setsof happy and sad images. In Tirez sur le pianiste, forinstance, memories of Charlie and Lena's first night togetherare tenderly conveyed by means of a subtle rhythm of cuts anddissolves that manages to reproduce the sensations of lovers'talk and sleep; a more staccato montage pattern is employed51to reproduce the high-spirited camaraderie of their comicabduction by "Groucho Marxist" gangsters. Conversely, thedeaths of both Lena and Theresa, Charlie's first wife, employlong shots to emphasize tragedy. Both are condensed into thefinal haunting close-up of the pianist's "thousand yardstare" into the ruins of his own life; Charlie's "timidity"is karrnically fated to bring death to those whom he mostloves, and the piano player's eyes let us know that he knowsit. This is the "flip" side to the film's playfulness.Tragic mortality is not "a fortuitous encounter"; neither doesit represent "the possibility of an acquaintance that willnever be realized" (Insdorf 24). It is, rather, the ultimate"spoiler".In no subsequent film would the difference between thehedonistic and the solemn be so sharply juxtaposed. Not evenJules et Jim's sashay from turn-of-the-century Parisian frolicto double suicide during the early days of the Nazi regime isquite so jarring in this regard. Still, diluted though itmight be, this unique tincture of dark and light is found inmost of the director's later films. L'Histoire d.'Adele H andVivement dimanche are somewhat anomalous in theirdetermination to split the Truffautian "isotope".The mixture persists even in pictures as superficiallyfrivolous as Baisers voles. Antoine's picaresque adventureswith jobs and 'women are foregrounded against a rather sadworld. One of the fledgling detective's employers is ahumourless racist who defends Hitler against "slander". His52vile opinions, however, do nothing to impede his materialsuccess. Elsewhere, a heartbroken homosexual becomes violentin the detective agency when he learns that his formerboyfriend has not only betrayed him but actually married awoman. Christine, Antoine's future wife, is persistentlyfollowed by a sinister-looking man in a trenchcoat.When Andre, the older detective who initiated Antoineinto the mysteries of "sleuthing", dies, an older colleagueopines:You know, when my grandfather died...I felt terrible. My cousin too...she was crying her eyes out... Well,right after dessert, we went up tothe attic together and I laid herright there...on the floor... Sincethen I've often thought about it.Making love after death is like away of compensating..,as if you needto prove that you still exist. (TheAdventures of Antoine Doinel 156)Even if sex is self-valorizing, it is also dangerous.A military instructor likens mine detection to handling a girlWhen it isn't dangerous, it's usually distant. FabienneTabard will "submit" to Antoine only once, "for a few hours."A prostitute will not allow a recently demobilized soldier-to either kiss her or stroke her hair.Summarizing his "alter ego's" character, Truffaut wrote:Antoine proceeds in life like anorphan and looks for foster families,but once he has found them, he tendsto run away, for he remains by naturean escapist. Doinel does not openly53oppose society (and in this respect heis not a revolutionary), bat he is waryof it and goes his own way, on theoutskirts of society. (The Adventuresof Antoi ne Doine1 12)Again we are reminded of John Hess's assault onTruffaut's aesthetic position: "An auteur was a filmdirector who expressed an optimistic image of humanpotentialities, within an utterly corrupt society" (Hess II20). Seen from this perspective, Nouvelle Vague film-makerswere essentially iatterday dandies pursuing their own exquisitedestinies - against a sordid backdrop of bourgeoisacquisitiveness and proletarian stupidity. But is such adescription truly applicable to a director like Truffaut!His own origins were "common", while he seems to regard his"alter ego's" lack of revolutionary fervor as a sociallyexplicable fault. In his universe, "human potentiality" isthwarted at every turn by random fatality. Even the myriadjoys of life are essentially compensations for the unavoidablefinality of death.What's more, the same driven family circle seems to bedescribed in one motion picture after another:...en cinq films, Francois Truffautmet en scene un, homme, une femme--etun enfant--qui se rencontrent, seprennent de tendresse, se connaisseet se disloquent. Humilies, toussolitaires ou poursuivis par " _ ~leur passe, par les autres, par unefatalite originelle dont ils neparvienrient pas a se defaire, ilsrecherchent un secret depuis 1'origine,mais il ne se souviennent que de54quelques gestes, quelques actes,juel<L40)q ques mots aussitot brises. (FanneIf Truffaut did not despair of his characters, it wasbecause he felt, that all their shortcomings could be explainedby the sufferings of their formative characters. On the otherhand, there is no indication that he felt psychoanalyticaldiscovery might result in liberating insight. His films areintrinsically fatalistic, though never smugly or judgementallyso.This "double vision" was memorably recorded by ClaudeBerri in "L'Ami defintitif'', his affectionate memoir of hislate friend. Francois, he said, first fell in love with yourfilms, then he fell in love with you, then he fell in lovewith your family: "il aimait les families des autres" (LeRoman 126). Similarly, while he professed not to believe inthe romantic couple, he was deeply saddened by Berri's ownmarital difficulties (Le Roman 127),If Truffaut was a pessimist, his pessimism was seeminglyincapable of growing "scar tissue". The "optimism" that Hessperceived in his work was actually something far more complex.As it was before the camera, so it was behind. Onlythose emotional crises which affected Truffaut most profoundlycould expect to be fictionally reproduced on screen. Whenthe director once professed to love the city and countrysidein F.W. Murnau's Sunrise more than any place he had physically-visited, he was grossly oversimplifying his own responsepatterns (Crisp 9). To prefer one fictional place to another55is to draw the parallel between itself and a "real life" model.Paris was his city, and his friends and family v/€;re his"people", even if he preferred to encounter them primarilyin fictional disguises. Indeed, it could probably fairly besaid that Truffaut knew everyone in his films, even theprotagonists with Balzacian origins. La Comedie humaine,after all, teems with thousands of characters, while thedirector's pre-occupations centered on very few. ForTruffaut, making movies was a way of synthesizing what heconsumed as a reader/viewer with what he absorbed as a humanbeing. Much of the charm of his work consists in preciselythis refusal to distinguish between the "real" and the"imaginary", the pedantic distinctions that so obsessbureaucratic minds of the P'tite Feuille variety. Ifpolitical commitment played no part in this artistic fusing,that was probably because political involvement for Truffautwas a duty rather than a pleasure, and his cinema is pre-eminently a cinema of both pleasure and of those negativeforces which compel pleasure not to be. In the next chapter,we will see how literature was as much a part of the cineaste'suniverse as were childhood and film. Truffaut,after all, was both critic and creator, father and child.Although he might have changed as he developed as an artistand. a person, it was seemingly not part of his makeup torepudiate any stage of his evolution. Like a photomontage,he was the sum of his parts.56Notes on Chapter Three-iTruffaut was fond of cinematic quotation, but itwas seldom central to his narrative technique. AntoineDoinel's double-take when he spots M. Hulot, Jacques Tati'sfamous comic character, in a train station, for instance,is just one of Domicile conjugale's throwaway gags. EvenJulie Christie's double role in Fahrenheit 451, thoughobviously meant to remind us of the good and bad Mariasin Fritz Lang's Metropolis (1926), can be appreciated in itsentirety without reference to the earlier film. If anything,self-quotation is employed even less obtrusively. The youngman who buys a record in L'Amour en fuite was the same actorwho played Charlie's youngest brother in Tirez sur le pianiste(Gillain 385). Stanley Kauffmann suspected that the Saroyanfarmhouse was used again in La Sirene de la Mississippi(Kauffmann 255 - 256).CHAPTER FOUR; LOVE OF LITERATUREHuit films de Truffaut sont nesde iivres. De huit livres? Non.Beaucoup plus. (Fanne 66)Though cinema was his metier,. Truffaut loved books asmuch as he loved movies. Robert Lachenay recalled howhis friend would purchase many copies of favourite volumes,a practice which is the closest possible equivalent to seeingfavourite features over and over again (Le_Roroan 11). Thedirector reputedly preferred "spiritual" to "physical"adventures ail his life. Even on iiis deathbed he read Simonede Beauvoir's La Ceremqnie des Adieus, occasionally pausingfrom his perusal of this account of the last days of thedying Sartre to quote the late philosopher's dictum that"every man who thinks himself indispensable is a bastard"(Le Roman 58 - 59).In offhand ways, references to many authors were workedinto Truffaut's scripts. The hero of Fahrenheit. 451.following the custom of the film's "book people",, assumes thepersona of "Edgar Poe". Goethe's Elective Affinities playeda key role in creating a triangular situation between JuJes,Jim and Catherine, not only thematically, but as a sornething-to-be~borrowed pretext for hopping into bed. Antoine Doineiruefully explains how he was "duped" into joining the armyby reading F\i I i tary Servi tude and Greatness. Ten years later,in L'Amour en fuite, his perusal of Colette will lead him to58suspect that his wife is having a lesbian affair with herbest friend. Thomas Mann's The__Mag_ic Mounted,n is mentioneden passant in Le Dernier metro, while one of that film'scentral incidents, the physical chastisement of the fascistcritic Daxiat by the Resistance actor Bernard, was inspiredby a passage in Jean Plarais' memoirs. La Sirene de laMississippi's dust jacket makes a cameo appearance in Baisersvoles, a fxill year before he turned that novel into a film.Although his own films were noted for their sexual modesty,-in The Films in My Life, Truffaut lavishly praised the"scandalous" writings of Henry Miller and Jean Genet.American humourist William Saroyan provided the last name forthe hero of Tirez sur le pianiste, perhaps because both men,like star Charles Aznavour, were of Armenian descent.Truffaut claimed there was "a 'Thousand and One Nights' sideto L'Amour en fuite" (Gillain 385), while he consciouslypatterned the sisters in Les Deux anglaises et le continentafter Charlotte and Emily Bronte.Even when no direct comparisons present themselves,it is often easier to find a literary parallel for theemotions evoked by a particular film than it is to uneartha cinematic one. The bittersweet, anti-climactic tone ofL'Amour en fuite, for exampJe, has more in common with Clea,the concluding volume of Lawrence Durrell's Alexandria Quartet,than it does with any film that 1 know of.Truffaut was much more tight-rnouthed about his criticalinfluences than he was about his literary enthusiasm.Although Andre Bazin remained his ideal of what a film critic59should be, the film-maker somewhat perversely professed tofind American reviewers superior to their French counterparts,"perhaps because they were well paid" (The Films in My Life9).Clarity of communication and the promotion of culturewere ingredients as central to the director's woi'k as wasthe search for love (Desjardins 45).When Truffaut adapted a literary property, his aim wasnot only to make a good film, but to get the viewers to lovethe source material as much as he did (Desjardins 47). Whilenovels were generally preferred for this purpose, L'Histoired'Adele H, L'Enfant sauvage, arid even L' Homme gui a i ma it lesfemmes were all distilled from private journals. Perhapsbecause it reeked of P'tite Feuille's pedantic methods,poetry was not a medium that the film-maker took to.He was, however, immensely fond of American "hardboiled"fiction:Chaque fois que j'ai approche un^ecrivain de Serie noire, j'ai eteimpressionne par sa modes tie, sonprofessionalisme mais aussi sa tristesse.II y a souvent quelque chose dedesesperant et de fatal dans la destineed'un romancier qui gagne sa vie enracontant des histoires critnineiies.(Gillain 420)A close comparison of Down There, the 1956 DavidGoodis novel with the Huysraanesque title, and Tirez sur lepianiste, the tonally different motion picture culled froma quintessentially American text, affords us numerous60opportunities to observe the ways in which the film-maker"Gallicized" his work. To begin with, he likened it to "afairy tale by Perrault" (Giilain 112 - 113). Preciselybecause he is the hero of a fairy tale, Charlie Kohler is muchless of a pedigreed man of violence than is Edward WebsterLynn, Goodis's more roughly hewn protagonist, Charlie suffersfrom the conviction that a fatal moment of indecision on hispart led directly to his wife'suicide, and worries that aZolaesque "family taint" might have pre-disposed him towardscriminality, while "Eddie" Lynn's doubts are more firmlyigrounded.x He saw action in Burma "with Merrill's Marauders'"(Goodis 70), killing Japanese soldiers and being woundedthree times himself, and his wife's suicide prompted him tobecome a notoriously vicious barroom brawler in Hell's Kitchen(Goodis 82 -83), The "elimination of Lynn's war service"makes "killing more alien" (Braudy 6). It also "justifies"the hero's self-pity, a quality refreshingly absent fromTirez sur le pianiste. In a similar vein, Goodis's take onLena is much bleaker than his cinematic adapter's would be.She'd stab "roosters where it really hurts" with a hatpin whenthey pressed in too close (Goodis 13). The original cast ofPlyne is likewise a much coarser model, stupider, meaner, andabsurdly obsessed with defects in his physical appearance.A note of alcoholic self--pity hangs like a blanket overeveryone, especially the pianist himself:The wild man was gone, annihilatedby two old hulks who didn't know theywere still in there pitching, the61dull-eyed shrugging mother and theeasy smiling, booze-guzzling father(Goodis 87).Tirez sur le pianiste's bittersweet tone is arrivedat by eliminating Goodis's rather ponderous depression, andreplacing it with lightness, humour, dexterity, sympathy foreveryone, and an iron fist of fatality concealed in thevelvet glove of form.In Down There, we find only one comic scene. When agangster complains that a slow motion procession of smart-talking seven year olds is interrupting the smooth flow ofEddie and Lena's kidnapping, he growls "Goddam juveniledelinquents," to which Lena drily replies, "Yes, it's quitea problem" (Goodis 60). Even here, though, the tone is muchmore caustic than the one employed throucrhout Truffaut's film.Elsewhere, the contrast is even more pronounced. Whenp]ddie?s brother runs head-first into a lamp post, he isnot rescued by a goodnatured pater fami lias eager to discussthe erotic nature of the local girls. Similarly, Eddie'senemies are not high-spirited, childlike clowns, and Lena isso cool with men she might well be a lesbian. Their bad endsseem less tragic than those suffered by Truffaut's cinematicequivalents, because their capacity for happiness is so muchmore limited.2\ge probably had a lot to do with this difference inoutlook.. Although he was still in his late 20s when he madethis film, the director suggested that the true subject ofTirez sur le pianiste was "the feeling of approaching the age62fifty'1 (Crisp 44). Charles Aznavour was cast as Charlie notbecause of his Armenian ancestry, but because he was "theonly French artist between 30 and 40...with the weight of 10adult years behind him...a man from nowhere" (Gillain 114).Aznavour enjoyed the added advantage of "being vulnerablewithout being a victim" (Giliain 114). This combination ofcharacteristics connected him to Humphrey Bogart, the epitomeof Hollywood nostalgia in every sense of the word. Jean-PaulBelmondo, it should be remembered, was similarly obsessedwith that noirish actor, a fact not unconnected to Truffaut'sauthorship of the original story.Perhaps; because he'd been raised initially by hisgrandmother arid had educated himself primarily by means ofprecocious reading, he always felt older than he was. At age29 he intuitively understood David Goodis, an author who wasboth hopelessly alcoholic and almost fifty by the time Down.There was published.On the other hand, Tirez sur le pianiste is also a very"youthful" film, and its perennial qualities are bestexpressed by its sense of "play". "All 1 wanted was thepleasure of mixing tilings together, " the director claimed,''to see whether or not they were miscible. " (Braudy 125)One critic likened the film's construction to "free jazz"(Insdorf 24). In a sense the film is nothing but a seriesof "riffs", improvised passages played off the novel'soriginal "score".In this way, Truffaut manages to remain faithful toGoodis, while "playing" him in a totally different "key".63Thus, the "film" Plyne turns on Lena for betraying his naively-medieval notions of female purity instead of simply defendinghis self-image as a brutal athlete. Goodis's piano player isquite capable of defeating Plyne with his fists--an affrontthe bouncer feels compelled to avenge with death—while CharlieKohler's mortal wounding of this tormented brawler is adesperate and karmically-determined act of self defence.Indeed, Charlie's very name is ironic, since Kohler is ahomonym for coLere, the French word for anger, and whatever-other emotions the piano player might show, rage isn't one ofthem,, z Even in small ways, Charlie is more passive than Eddie.Both piano players cover their brothers escape by spillinga stack of empty beer crates in the gangsters' path, butTruffaut's hero pretends he didn't while Goodis's protagonistdoesn't bother.Charlie is also more sensitive than Eddie. When hebelatedly interposes himself between Plyne and Lena, it isprimarily because he fears the bouncer's "badmouthing" of hisgirl might somehow result in Lena's death, just as Theresa'sself-description as "a soiled rag" immediately preceded hersuicide. History will repeat itself, of course; all Charlie'sbrief career as a "man of action" accomplishes is the deathof Plyne, a tragicomic buffoon. Lena will die anyway.In a fine stroke of irony, Truffaut's "happiest" filmconcludes with his saddest ending. Whether slow or fast, thepicture's editing rhythms are equally capable of conveyingtenderness or horror, joie de vivre or tragedy. Music--which, for once, the director decides to put in the same64artistic "league" as literature and cinema--transmits the samemixed message. Edouard Saroyan's gift for classical pianofirst fulfills his potential, then it shatters his happiness.Honky tonk tunes in a low!ife bar at first provide solace,but in the final scene, after Lena's death, those same pianokeys will fall like mocking prison bars. This dichotomy isduplicated by the film's two "popular" songs-~the bouncy,Rabelaisean Bobby Lapointe ballad about carefree lechery, andthe soulful Felix Leclerc chanson about love and commitment.That the first of these is bellowed in a crowded cafe, whilethe second emerges from a car radio in a lonely winterlandscape is as significant as the different emphases givento the film's theme song.The "liberties" that Truffaut took with Goodis's text,an author then still living, showed that in matters ofadaptation he was true to the spirit of Bresson, rather thanto that of Aurenche and Bost, the hated scriptwriters whowould only "mess" with the works of the dead. Still, much ashe admired Goodis and other American "tough guy" writers, theywere not as central to his artistic world view as were thenovels of certain French authors. His admiration for Henri -Pierre Roche and-~especially--Honore de Balzac approachedidolatry. He could never transmute their writings with suchplayful insouciance.For some reason Truffaut never made a screen versionof one of Balzac's books, but his ineradicable passion forthis other was reflected by his incessant use of Balzacianquotation, first as a critic, and then as a cineaste. While65much of this enthusiasm might have been generated by''objective" appreciation of the great 19th century novelist'sliterary gifts, we know from the fiim-maker's letters that hissense of association with Balzac ran deeper than that.No such spiritual kinship bound him to the author ofJules et Jim and Les Deux anglaises et le continent. Hisunbounded admiration for these particular texts in no wayinclined him sympathetically towards their creator:Je ne me sens pas d'affinites profondesavec Roche, sans doute pour un raisonfondamentale: il etait ne riche, etil ne pouvait done aborder la vieet les problemes humains avec 1'attitudequi est celle de gens comme Jean-Pierre...ou moi-meme. (Gillain 283)Although Truffaut went so far as to cull L'Homme qui aimaitles femmes from Roche's private journals., what he felt forthe man himself consisted of mixed envy and contempt, perhapsbecause the privileged author's "mother problems" seemed, toTruffaut, to be on the opposite end of the emotional spectrum,where the director had been "neglected", Roche had been"smothered". Too much maternal love was as unforgivable aluxury as too much money,In marked contrast to this "arm's length" attitude,Truffaut delighted in finding parallels between his own lifeand that of Honore de Balzac. To Robert Lachenay, he oncewrote:What is it you find fault with in my66love life? I may lack Balzac's genius,but my love life is just as complicatedas his, the objects of my affectionbeing either sixteen or forty yearsold, with a few ambiguous relationshipsbetween those two ages; young womenof good stock and widows; there'snothing else that matters and howheavenly it is to correspond withthem, I could show you a collectionof letters like no other! (Letters 48)Important as women were to Balzac, of course, art waseven more important. As Truffaut got older, this became truefor him as well, a fact which should not surprise when oneconsiders how the perusal of The Human Comedy seems to haveconsciously steered the director's subjective experience incertain specific directions. He wrote Robert Lachenay, forexample, that if his friend were ever to fail in love with amarried woman, Truffaut would promptly send him a copy of LeLys dans la vailee for guidance and instruction (Letters 52).That novel, in tandem with La Recherche de I'absolu andLa Peau de chagrin, were the works that first addicted the%f i Irnmaker-to-be to La_Comed i e huma i ne. Antoirie Doinel, itshould be remembered, was inspired to erect his shrine toBalzac by an enthusiastic reading of La Recherche. The boy'schallenge to P:t1te Feuiiie--Entre nous ce sera/dent pourdent/oeil pour oeil--is Likewise reminiscent of Rastignac'sdefiance of Paris in Le Pere Goriot: "A nous deux maintenant!"(Le Pere Goriot.: 254)Ail of the aforementioned works appeared early inBalzac's career: La Peau de Chagrin in 1831, La Recherche dei'absolu in 1834, Le Pere Goriot in 1835, and Le Lys dans la67/allee in 1836. Even "La F-'lesse de 1'athee", Balzac's hymn toprofessional "spiritual fathership", appeared no later than1837. '" The more complicated social novels such as Illusionsperdues (1843) seem to have played a much less vital role inthe formation of Truffaut's imagination. Initially, it wasthe early works that counted. Youth reaches out to youth.That Balzac's childhood was in many ways similar toTruffaut's cannot be denied. It also accounts for the film-,xmaker's special fondness for La Lys dans la vallee, the mostautobiographical of Balzac's fictions, even if it is farfrom being his best. As Roger Pierrot points out in hisintroduction to the novel, Felix de Vandenesse was very mucha stand-in for his creator:L'enfanee de Felix.. ..est celle deBalzac ne a Tours, mis en nourrice,incompromis de sa mere, enferme dansune triste pension de province, er\yoyedans la meme institution Lepitre aParis.... (Le Lys dans la vallee xii)Again arid again in that novel, we encounter scenes thatread like slightly anachronistic outtakes from Les 400 coups.Felix sighs:Qiielle vanite^pouvais-je blesser,moi nouveau-ne? quelie disgracephysique ou morale me__valait lafroideur de ma mere? etais-je done1'enfant du devoir, celui dont lavie est une reproche? Mis en nourricea la campagne, oublie par ma familiependant trois ans, quand je revJnsa la maison paternelle, j'y comptaipour si peu de chose que j'y subissais68la compassion des gens.... (La Lyscians la vallee 5)Like both Antoine and fruffaut himself, Felix sought^surcease from his troubles in books (Le Lys dans la vallee25). Felix's mother made him feel like a bird under the eye*of a serpent (Le Lys dans la vallee 21). Crippled by debtsnecessitated by his parsimonious allowance, Balzac's ''alterego" was obliged to throw himself on the mercy of strangelyfamiliar parents: "Won pere pencha vers 1'indulgence. Maisma mere fut impitoyable, son oeil bleu me petrifia, elle»*fulmina des terribles propheties. (Le Lys dans la vallee 18)Unlike Truffaut, Balzac had three siblings, but Bernard-Francois Balzac was not the father of Honore's brother, Henry.That function was carred out by Jean de Margonne, Anne LaureBalzac's lover. By all accounts, Honore's father turned ablind eye to his own cuckolding, just like Antoine's putativesire (Pritchett 25). Again one is met by deafening silencerelating to unanswered and unasked questions concerning thedirector's own paternity.In any event, Felix de Vandenesse's presence can be felt,albeit with diminishing intensity, in all five sections ofthe Antoine Doinel saga. Perhaps because of his de facto"orphan" status, Felix was an infinitely more attractivecharacter to Truffaut than was, say, Lucien de Rubempre, {-nepassive hero of Illusions perdues and SpJendeurs et miseresdes courtisanes (1844), a youth whose great physical beautyand charm would open undeserved doors for him that would69never yield to the protagonist of Les 400 coups.Truffaut's abiding fondness for Le Lys might wellaccount for Antoine's '"salvation" ac the hands of "spiritualmothers", in place of fathers. Young Felix is first freedfrom the horrors of his upbringing by Madame de Mortsauf, amarried woman and mother of two who lives unhappily in thecountry with her vaguely ridiculous aristocratic husband.This novel, it should be remembered, was as much a settlingof accounts for Balzac as Leg 400 coups would be for Truffaut.In the case of the great French novelist, there were no AndreBazins in his life, only older, well-placed mistresses whoadvanced his cause in court and elsewhere. Although popularwith women, Balzac would never play the role of bourgeoispater f. ami lias:For Balzac, Mme. d& Berny became--and was all her life--the Dileota:the first, most purely and terriblyloved (he said), who contained allthe elements of woman bhe artistneeds--mother-mistress-sister. Theword 'wife' is missing: until thelast six months of his life he wouldnot know what a wife was. (Pritchett67)4How similar these words sound to the expectations ofAntoine in Domicile Conjugate. To Christine, he says, "You'remy little sister, my daughter, my mother," to which his spousetellingly replies, "I'd hoped to be your wife."Even in later life, the parallels between Balzac's lifeand Truffaut's eerily continued. Although technically singleuntil his late marriage to Madame Hanska, Balzac fathered70several "bastards", an historical circumstance culturallyequivalent to the director's divorce-induced separation fromhis daughters. Even Truffaut's last days with Fanny Ardantbeg comparison with Balzac's brief union with Madame Hanska,at least as much as his school days are reminiscent ofhis literary idol's sufferings among the Oratorian fathers.Because of these perceived similarities, it was only naturalthat Antoine Doinel should take after Felix Vandenesse.In his introduction to Le Lys, Roger Pierrot points outthat the chief difference between Madame de Mortsauf and theDilecta was that the fictional counterpart was ''chaste" (LeLys dans la vallee x). No matter how much this detail isromanticized, it should be kept in mind that Madame deMortsauf eventually dies from an apparent mixture ofjealousy and erotic frustration. Although relatively fewyears separate her from her piatonic admirer, she doeseverything in her power to imprison their liaison within theconventions of the mother/son relationship. When they aregeographically separated for long periods of time, Felix isthe one expected to bear the brunt of their correspondence,despite his heavy duties at court. Such lopsided epistolaryemphases are typical of the dutiful son's role when "writinghome". Even when she grants Felix the unique privilege ofcalling her "Henriette", this intimacy infantalizes her suitoras much as it empowers him. Its price includes much scoldingand "maternal" advice. Essentially, tfteir love affair unfoldsin the nursery.Arid yet, "Henriette" is perversely jealous. When she71.advises her young man to cultivate "influential" older womenat court, rather than '"egotistical" younger ones, she issurely trying to eliminate beautiful rivals as much as sheis practising realpolitik (Le Lys dans la vallee 226 - 227).Her desire to marry Felix off to her own daughter is also,^transparently seduction by other means (Le Lys dans la vailee5447). The more Henriette must pretend that the artificialrules of this game are genuine, the more her mental healthsuffers. She tells Felix that she wants to be ]ovedspiritually, like a sister or mother, while her would-be lover-~ freplies that he loves her "comme une mere secretement desiree"(Le Lys dans la vallee 259). Later on, after Felix has becomephysically involved with Lady Dudley, Madame de Mortsauf self-deludingly decides to become her friend, because "Une femmedoit aimer la mere de celui qu'eile aime, et je suis votre<t Smere (Le Lys dans la vallee 362).Young Monsieur Vandenesse, it cannot be overemphasized,is anything but an unwilling participant in these vaguelyOedipal goings-on. Indeed, he seems to derive moresatisfaction from it than does Henriette, despite his on-goingcomplaints. His desire is clearly a wish to return to the/"* *""womb: "Apres m'etre assure que personne ne me voyait, je meplongerai dans ce dos comme un enfant qui se jette dans iesein de la mere, et je baisai toutes ces epauies en y roulantA Sma tete" (Le Lys dans la vallee 30).Robert Lachenay has testified to the powerful impressionthis scene made on his young friend's mind. Clearly, the lackof physical consummation could not help but appeal to a72youthful imagination where carnal desire had not yet beenreassessed by the revisionism of experience. This is atheme to which we shall return in the next chapter.Ironically, when Truffaut conflated Le Lys into one of^the sub-plots of Baisers voles, he played its tragedy "forlaughs". What's more, he re-distributed the personalcharacteristics of Madame de Mortsauf and Lady Dudley, Felix'sepouse de 1' ame and rnaitresse de corps (Le Lys dans la yallee320), with a gleeful abandon that verges on irreverence.Fabienne Tabard--older than Antoine, wiser, and married to aman very like the Comte de Mortsauf--is first seen speakingEnglish on the telephone, the language of the sensual LadyDudley. It is she who first offers herself to Antoine, notthe younger, stand-offish Christine Darbon. Her husband isas ignorant of his boorishness and bigotry as the Comte deMortsauf was egotistically blind to the ills that hesunwittingly authored (Le Lys dans la vallee 270). UnlikeHenrietta, though, Fabienne does not feel stifled by hermarriage of convenience. Indeed, her decision to sleepwith Antoine was annealed by the discovery that the boy wasas enamored of Le Lys as she was herself. In both fictionalcases, the courtship of the mis-matched lovers is furtheredby the exchange of letters, but there the comparison ends.Madame Tabard settles for short term pieasiire, while Madamede Mortsauf insists ori prolonged and teasing agony to thepoint of death. Even more strikingly, where Felix's"betrayal" of his chaste sweetheart with the amoral Lady Dudleyresults in the death of his beloved as well as the blighting73of his marital prospects, Antoine's dalliance with Fabiennefinally tv/igs Christine's erotic interest, so much so that,by film's end, the young people are engaged to be married.It is probably pertinent to point out here thatBalzacian quotation, though common to Truffaut's oeuvre, isgenerally even more tangential to the plot than is the casein Baisers voles. Aside from the Antoine Doinel films, itrises to prominence only in La Peau douce. Thus, since thesame characters are constantly crossing paths in the Doinelsaga, it seems not unreasonable to suggest that the directorintended these five motion pictures to constitute his own mini-Comedie humaine:As we have already seen, the film-maker's passion forRoche was considerably cooler than was his love for Balzac.On the other hand, the services he provided that lesser writerwere considerably more assiduous. Claiming to admire the"prodigious refinement" that permitted Roche to employ the"vocabulary of a peasant1' (Gillain 436), Truffaut was wellaware of the temperamental complexities of their"collaboration". When making Jules et Jim, for instance, hewas a 29 year old film-maker with the "effrontery" to adaptthe first novel of a septuagenarian (Desjardins 52 - 53).Fortunately, this "generation gap" proved bridgeable,partially thanks to the director's precocious sense ofimpending mortality, and partially because he respondedstrongly to Roche's "delicious", pain-free descriptions ofsex (Gillain 436).74Jules et Jim is a novel about a turn-of-the-centurylove affair between two men and one woman, while Les Deuxanglaises et le continent, Roche's second novel, is the taleof a liaison between two women and one man. That theycollectively constitute a sort of diptych goes without saying,and Truffaut is so aware of this fact he freely transfers*scenes from one book to the other. At times, he even insertsbrief snippets of biography and autobiography. Pauline Kaelwas quite right when she worried that Truffaut might "be outof his depth" in the second novel, "that he would be caughtbetween Roche's reminscences and his own" (Reeling 42 - 43).Even so, these books are so picaresque they needed agreat deal of cinematic pruning. During the opening chapters°f Jules et Jim, for example, the text's eponymous heroesencounter a much wider selection of potential female companionsthan the film can comfortably include. Thus, it is Odilerather than Catherine who brandishes the vitriol in Roche'snovel. Most of these women make brief appearances, but theirimages are sharply etched: "Lucie etait une beaute gothique... Fille de grande bourgeoisie, elJe etudiat la peinture"(Jules et Jim 15). In the book, as well as in the film,Gilberte is Jim's long-suffering mistress, but in the formerinstance it is with Michele that he hopes to have a child.As "apron-string-bound" as Roche, the literary Jim can'treceive women at home because he still lives with his mother,while Jules's female parent—like Jim's, a cinematic non-entity—interferes constantly in his marriage to Kathe,preferring much unasked-for advice on the upbringing of their75two daughters. Besides doubling Jules's progeny, Truffautalso took the liberty of making Catherine three years olderthan Jim, whereas Kathe was eight years his junior. Thedirector also eliminated the book's racial tensions:Kathe et Jules non plus n'etaientpas de la me'me race. Kathe etaitune pure Germariique, une "poule decombat." Jules etait un Juif quisauf quelques grands amis, evitaiten general avec des Juifs. (Jules etJim 168)6Superficially, the director's "fiddling" with Jules et.JJjrt would seem to be more extensive than his tampering withLes Deux anglaises et le continent, but the changes he workedon the latter book were actually more profound. Chief amongthese were the extra-textual deaths of Claire, Claude'sfiercely possessive mother, arid Anne Brown, the older of thetwo sisters with whom "le continent" becomes involved. Bykilling off Claire quite early on, Truffaut dilutes his hero's"momma's boy" reluctance to marry and assume adultresponsibilities; by burying Anne, he renders Claude'ssubsequent loneliness less classically Freudian. No doubt toclear the stage of obstructiorial minor characters, thedirector eliminated the Brown brothers from the script, aswell as Pilar, the inscrutable Andalusian beauty who takesClaude's innocence. That Truffaut identified with 'Mecontinent" in some way is made clear by his placement ofClaude in the artillery, the same branch of the ai^my in whichthe film-maker had served so unhappily.76Even more significantly, Claude's amatory modus operand!is strikingly similar to that of Antoine Doinel. The young,turn-of-the-century Frenchman "falls" first for l^ rs. Brown'sfamily before his affections vacillate between one daughternand the next.' Elective affinities seem to be at work here,since all of Roche's heroes have an ingratiating desire toplease as well as a decidedly "Doinelish" cast of phrase:"J'aime Magda. Mais c'est un habitude. Ce n'est pas le grandamour. Elle est a la fois ma jeune mere et ma filleattentive" (Jules et Jim 38).Nonetheless, Claude's amours are more self-consciouslyOedipal than are Antoine's. In the film, he tells Claire,"I love Muriel; she reminds me of you. '' Anne, a woman withmaternal problems of her own, describes Claude's mother as"the most demanding of his women." It seems more thancontextually possible that Truffaut's feelings of separationfrom Roche permitted him to explore some of his ownobsessions with greater candour than he allowed himself inhis more overtly autobiographical works.Both Les Deux anglaises et le continent and Jules etJj._m are "instinctive" melanges of past and present imagery."Dayglo" 1970s-style sweaters rub shoulders with black frockcoats in cafes that might have been visited by Renoir or Degas.Elliptical editing cheerfully subverts the anchoring qualitiesof documentary footage. Far from being historical fi1ms, theyare actually celebrations of what the director loved in thepresent translated to a t, that he knew from books, that hehad transmuted by the powers of imagination.r\That many of the events in Les Deux anglaises et lecontinent were related by means of letters and journal entrieswas an added plus. Finding cinematic equivalents forcorrespondence was a challenge Truffaut was willing to riseto throughout his career.Of Roche's two novels, the film-maker found the secondone sadder, because its sensibility was so young (Gillain270). It was also the hardest to block out, because thecharacters spent so much time apart (Desjardins 69).Thus, the characters were "iconized" in very different ways:...if Anne tends to share her space,seen usually in two-shots and interactingwith people around her, Muriel'spersonality insists upon the close-up. The only other face she allowsinto frame is her reflection in themirror. (Insdorf 128)In both films, voice-over commentary is essential tomaintaining the mood of bittersweet nostalgia. Even Jules etJim, with its delerious hand-held camera shots and staccatobursts of elliptical editing, depends heavily on an unseennarrator's voice. Truffaut loved Roche's words, and tried topreserve as many as possible.Seemingly, the director's "ideal" adaptation was asort of wide-screen cine-roman:^ ^ ><Je prefere a 1 adaptation ciassique,transformant de gre ou de force unlivre en piece de theatre, une formeintermediaire qui fait aiternerdialogues et lecture a haute voix,78qui correspond en quelque sorte auroman f i1me. Je pense d'ai11eursque Jules et Jim est pJutot un livrecinematographique que le pretextsa un film litteraire. (Gillain 128)In Les Deux anglaises et le continent, both Muriel andClaude have their own "inner" voices, while Mrs. Brown andher Welsh friend Mr. Flint are frequently heard in voice-off.This device contributes to a feeling of nostalgia, especiallywhen the audio is accompanied by deliberately anachronisticiris-outs. One is frequently aware of image and sound asisolated elements, especially during the tight close-upwherein Muriel guiltily confesses to the "sin" of masturbation.In combination, these effects create the illusion of historicalOdouble exposure.Love of literature, film and his own past were alwayspresent in the films Truffaut made from favourite literarytexts. The joys of conjugal love and the constant threat oftheir being annulled in an instant were also central to hisart, however, as was the individual's relationship to theheedless surge of time. The final ingredients in the recipefor the director's tragicomic "pleasure package" will beexamined in the next two chapters.79Notes to Chapter Four1Uncoincidentally, this Zolaesque notion of criminalheredity is at the heart of Jean Renoir's La Bete humaine(193$.Unlike Julie Kohler, the avenging "fury" of La Marieeetait en ngir.3In this novella, an atheist doctor is put throughmedical school by a pious but illiterate workingman. Out ofgratitude to this "spiritual father", the thankful surgeon paysto have masses sung for the repose of his late benefactor'ssoul, despite his lack of personal faith.4La Dilecta was 22 years Balzac's senior.5Balzac was likewise invited to marry La Dilecta'sdaughter, though her mother was more to his taste.6In some respects, Catherine is reminiscent of FrauChauchat, Thomas Mann's fictional take on Alma Mahler. It isinteresting to recall that Marion Delorme, the actress-heroineof Le Dernier metro, played that role onscreen, while CatherineDeneuve, Marion's interpreter, is probably the most"Aryan" of all French actresses.7In a crucial scene, Claude is made the "core" in agame of "citron presse", being entirely surrounded by allthree Brown women, ostensibly to keep warm. If the Brownsare Claude's second family, to them he is "le continent", thekey to the European culture and sophistication which theycrave despite their stolid British backgrounds. In this split,one can perhaps recognize Truffaut's own complicated feelings80vis-a-vis the United States.oTruffaut was well aware of the problems attendant onusing flashy camera techniques in period films. "Je veux Men> ,-admettre," he once joked, "que le cinema existait a 1'epoquede Jesus-Christ, mais pas le zoom!" (Gillain 285)81CHAPTER FIVE: LOVE OF LOVEFrom reading Francois Truffaut's film criticism, itwould be easy to conclude that movies were, for him, justromance by other means. In this regard, there is nodifference between the "mellow" author of The Films in i^ y Lifeand the "Young Turk" whose polemics got him banned from theCannes Film Festival. Nicholas Ray's motion pictures, forinstance, were all said to "tell the same story, the storyof a violent man who wants to stop being violent and hisrelationship with a woman who has more moral strength thanhimself" (Hillier 107).In those words, we have Tlrez sur le pi artiste inembroyo. What's more, Truffaut felt no qualms about a film-maker telling the same story over and over again:Je crois que les films essentialspour chacun, ce sont certainementles trois premiers, ceux que 1'onfait au debut, surtout quand on ala chance de les faire en touteliberte, mais ce n'est pas un raisonpour arreter. (Desjardins 63)When talking about women, literature and film in thesame sentence, the director sometimes made their relationshipsound like a menage a trois:82Les films d'Ophuls sont un^plaidoyerbalzacian en faveur de J 'heroine que1'auteur examine amoureusement a laloupe jusque sans la decheance....(Fanne 28)Like Ophuls, Truffaut often claimed to take hisheroines' side against that of his heroes; for him, "les deuxanglaises" were morally more admirable than 'Me continent"(Gillain 284).In his book, love was "le sujet des sujets" (Gillain138). The "absence of women in a film" bothered him "morethan anything else" (The Films in My Life 167). He lovedactresses because "cinema is an art of the woman... Thedirector's work consists in getting pretty women to do prettythings" (The Films in My Life 138). Elective affinitiesseemingly bound certain actresses and directors together:Pour moi les grands moment du cinemasont le coincidence entre les donsd'un rnetteur en scene et ceux d'unecomedienne dirigee par lui: Griffithet Lilian fsic] Gish...Renoir etSimone Simon, Hitchcock et JoanFontaine, Rossellini et Magnani...Vadim et BB. (Fanne 25)Despite the obvious sexual overtones of Truffaut'sattitude, it did distance him considerably from the "actors-are-cattle" outlook of an Alfred Hitchcock. In any case,whether women were presented in a "favourable" or an"unfavourable" light was less important to the director thanthat they be presented at all. It has been observed of83Antoine Doinel's young wife, "Christine proves to be one ofthe few wives in Truffaut's work who is not a killer"(Insdorf 118). The film-maker/critic wrote of Jean Renoir's''loving misogyny", a feeling "that grows from year to year--the idea that the only thing that counts is the soft skinof the woman you love" (The Films in My Life 218). In asimilar vein, Truffaut approvingly quoted Ingmar Bergman'sscabrous encomium to the "Eternal Feminine", a threnody thatembraced ''cows, she-monkeys, sows, bitches, " that did notdiscriminate against "wild beasts and dangerous reptiles",that did not deny the erotic possibilities of being killed byone's beloved or of being killed by her in turn. "The worldof women is my universe," the Swedish cineaste concluded (TheFilms in My Life 255).Bergman's relationship to his mother, if The MagicLantern is anything to go by, was at least as stormy andturbulent as Truffaut's was with his, the only possibledifference residing in the level of overt violence. LikeBalzac and Roche, Bergman suffered through an unhappychildhood, and that was more than enough to place himpermanently on Truffaut's "shelf":Je classe mes livres par auteur. Maisje voudrais reserve un rayon de mabibliotheque aux livres sur les meres.C'est le meilleur livre de chaqueecrivain... Si on n'avait qu'unsujet, ce celui-la. (Gillain386 - 387)Absent fathers and "insane" mothers figure prominently84in Truffaut's brief panegyrics to Chaplin and Vigo in TheFilms in. My Life. In the director's world view, literature,film, childhood and sex ail converged at a single point: themother.The origins of Truffaut's inner conflicts are probablybest expressed in Les 400 coups. One key aspect of the filmthat seems never to have been properly recognized is theveracity of Antoine's claim that his mother is "dead". Whileshe is unquestionably a discrete biological organism, andthough for others she might exist, as Antoine's mother sheis effectively deceased. Since the boy's father is a weakdomestic non-entity with no genetic connection to his "son",to all intents and purposes, Antoine is an orphan.Paradoxically, his sense of emotional rejection increases hissusceptiility to Oedipal attraction. Madame Doinel's youthand beauty become "fair game" in the absence of a substantiverelationship between mother and child.Hapless cuckold that he is, Antoine's father unwittinglypromotes this unhealthy attachment: "Look what pretty legsyour mother has," he smirks to his son (The 400 Blows 80).Little does he know that Antoine is already well on his wayto becoming a "leg man":En rapportant les mules a sa meredans le couloir, il la surprit entrained'enlever ses bas, ies jupesrelevees a mi-cuisses. Mais ellene reagit nullement, habituee aconsiderer "ie gosse," comme un petit.••nai Lien absolument etranger auximpulsions humaines, alors merne quela puberte le tracassait chaque nuit.85sur ce sofa ou elle continualt paisiblementa se (iepouiiler de cette peau de soleplus troublante que la vraie.(Moussy 28)That Truffaut seems never to have entertained thepossibility that his mother might have been very much awareof the impact her sexual presence; was having on her son isevidenced by one striking "fetish" in what is otherwise aremarkably "chaste" body of work: legs. Five years afterogling his mother in secret, Antoine will be attracted toColette primarily because of her neatly nyloned limbs. Duringthe opening shots of Domicile conjugale, the camera doublesfor Antoine's gaze when it follows Christine's legs throughthe streets of Paris. And of course, Antoine Doinel is farfrom being the only leg fetishist in Truffaut's Cornediehumaine. Even so peripheral a character as Monsieur Tabardis characterized by his tendency to stare up his employees'skirts, while Bertrand, the hero of L'Homme qui aimait lesfemmes, is so infatuated with that portion of the femaleanatomy, women, in his eyes, are virtual appendages of theirlegs. Bertrand's mother parades in front of him in a mannervirtually indistinguishable from that of Antoine's; rejectionat her hands prevents him from seeing them "as whole people"(Alien 187 - 183).While Truffaut emphasizes each "rejecting female's"insensitivity in these primal circumstances, he seems to assumethat they don't derive any perverted pleasure from the same.Even his "cock-teasers" and femmes fatales are still basically86"nice girls".The Madame de Mortsauf/Lady Dudley split in Le Lys dansia va11ee epitomizes the Truffautian hero's inability to finderotic satisfaction in just one woman. Maternal love aridcarnal union are irreconcilable opposites.In a rare moment of candor.. Henriette laments the socialdifferences separating 19th century French men from 19thcenturv French women:A vous 1'orient, a moi 1*Occident,dit-elle. Vous vivez heureux, jemourrai de douieur! Les hommes fonteux-memes les evenements de leur vie,et la mienne est a jamais fixee.(Le Lys dans la vallee 110 - 111)While Madame de Mortsauf's complaints are objectivelytrue, they obscure the fact that institutionalized femaleinequality permits her to manipulate the men in her life whotake her seriously. The consolation prize of moralsuperiority keeps both her husband and her platonic lover oninvisible leads of guilt. Thus, when Felix complains thatHenriette is treating her spouse like a spoiled child (Le Lysfdans la vailee 277), he fails to see that that is the secretof tier power. To be loved, all her men must be infants,beginning with her frail son and ending with Felix (Le Lysdans la vallee 260).In other words, Madame de Mortsauf is a classicFreudian castrator, a fact which Truffaut seems only semi-aware of, although he responded with considerable heat to87this "archetype" when he .met it in real life. To RobertLachenay, for instance, he once wrote;This morning I received the letteryour mother sent me. If I f>lt sureof myself, I'd sue her for slanderfor calling me a homosexual, butI can't do it. All that is required,is for you to send her a letterbawling her out and I'll do thesame. . . . ("Letters 20)AConsidering the miseries attendant on his filialrelationships and the extreme emotional volatility experiencedin his early manhood, it does seem surprising that Truffautdid not tu-Ti into either a homosexual or a misogynist. Inhis films, wariness of women co-exists with a frank awarenessof "male" foibles, just as the cinematic celebration of thesensual pleasures of life is counterbalanced by theomnipresent spectre of grief, and the glorious promise offriendship between the sexes is constantly undermined by theunstable chemistry of the romantic couple. Lady Dudley andMadame de Mortsauf were not the only Balzacian women thedirector was drawn to, after all. He was equally entrancedby Josephine de Temninck, a diamond in the rough whose"apparent imperfections" hid the "spiritual grandeur" of abeautiful soul (La Recherche de 1'absolu 51). With greatsympathy and understanding, Balzac realized that:^ /•>Une femme belle peut a son alse etreelle-rneme, le monde lui fait toujourscredit d'une sottise ou d' une gaucherie:tandis qu'un seal regard arrete88J'expression la plus magnifique surles levres d'une femme laide....(La Recherche de i'absolu 52)As always, Balzac was unblinkingly aware of the waysin which looks, money and pedigree determined one's future2in 19th century France. Because Josephine lacks all, thesequalities, she initially feels overwhelmingly fortunate tohave married a husband as distinguished as Ciaes. After herspouse becomes obsessed with alchemy, however, and dissipatesthe family fortune in a vain attempt to turn lead into gold,it soon becomes apparent that the most precious ore in thefamily must be mined from the hearts of first Josephine, andthen her daughter. Marguerite. Indeed, it is up to thelatter to repair the damage done by Claes's obsession, andthis she does with supremely competent panache. No matterhow much the Temninck women proclaim the importance of"patriarchal'1 values, even the dimmest reader must noticethat they are better "men" than Claes.Like many 19th century writers, Balzac felt that it wasdelicacy of feeling and not mental incapacity that renderedmost women unfit for masculine occupations. If he did notfeel--as did his near-contemporary, Stendhal--that sexualstereotypes cost the human race "half its geniuses", theauthor was by no means a vulgar ;nale supremacist. One caneasily see why his attitudes appealed so strongly to Truffaut.Balzac is as pre-Freudian as he is pre-f'larxist, and yet muchgrist for both philosophies can be ground in his mill,Truffaut's backwards-looking personality loved The Human89Comedy because it represented a transitional phase of humandevelopment. Balzac was both a romantic and a realist.Characters such as Madame de Ptortsauf can be read in analmost inifinite number of ways, depending on the age andgender of the reader, as well as his or her awareness of thelast 200 years of socio-culturai history. When reading LexLys dans la vallee, Truffaut did not have to decisively choosebetween this century and the last.With Roche, one experiences the same sense of historicaldouble exposure. Kathe, Gertrude, Gilberte, and all theother women who populate his texts for greater or lesser-periods of time, are Janus-faced creatures who simultaneouslystare backwards and forwards through time.We have already seen how Truffaut believed that adirector's first three films were the most important;in his case, the influence of favourite tomes by Balzac andRoche proved even more long lasting.Perhaps because the books that exercised the mostprofound influence on his imagination were either read inadolescence or else aimed at the adolescent mind, thedirector's heroes tend to be equally immature. As onefeminist critic wrote:Like the adolescent heroes ofhis own and other films, Truffaut'sartistic weakness, in refusing togrow up, expresses itself in aninsistence on preserving his owninnocence and purity--a compulsionto which his women become, very subtly,sacrificial scapegoats. They dieor surrender, that innocence may90live. (Hadkeli 302)Elsewhere, this hunger for "innocence" is judged evenmore harshly:In Shoot the Piano Player all themen are dangerous babies includingCharlie,, who manages to commit murderwithout dropping the role of kidbrother. (Kinder and Huston 7)It is further alleged that:In Truffaut's films, the basicpolarities are developed along sexuallines: the men rely on will, civilizationand reason; the women are the wild,natural creatures who rely on chance.But paradoxically, the rational menare more susceptible to fantasy, andthe women, who are the romantic objects,are more capable of cynical irony.The primary problem for most of Truffaut'smen is that they never quite growout of adolescence. (Kinder andHuston 7)This is a problem that Felix de Varidenesse and hiscreator could easily understand.Even critics who are overtly critical of Truffaut'ssexual politics refrain from accusing him of the acid-edgedmisogyny that one finds in the cinema of Hitchcock, Godardand de Palma:Where Godard's awe of women is tingedwith hacred, Truffaut's is alladmiration, but. one attitude can be91as inhibiting in creating a fullyrounded portrait as the other.(Haskeil 302)Truffaut's published comments on love, marriage, anddomestic life were so numerous, it is painfully easy toquote him out of context. He did, after all, liken cookingto making babies (Desjardins 54), and claimed never to havehad a serious conversation with his daughters because theywere girls. He professed not to be fond of women who remindedhim of men (Desjardins 51). Such comments make the film-maker seem not only sexist, but silly.When reading these remarks, it is important to remember,however, that the women in Truffaut's films were generallystronger than the men. Even so, he was very careful tostrip this characteristic of ideological colouration. Thus,he could say of Catherine that she wanted to live like a manthough she was neither feminist nor vengeful (Gillain 129 -130). Despite his "instinctive" anarchist sentiments,Truffaut remained wary of "isms", even when propounding suchof their tenets as he shared might have advanced his cause.His criticism of Godard's undemocratic treatment of actresseswas rooted in the fact that his fellow cineaste wouldjuxtapose "X's arse" with "Anne Wia xeinsky' s pretty hands,"because he did not seem to "know that not only all men butall women are equal, including actresses," because he createda hierarchy of "whores" and "poetic young women" (Letters 388).Those who wish to perceive Truffaut as either a"wishy-washy liberal'1 or an out-and-out reactionary,, coulddoubtless make a much stronger case if they could cite evenone instance where the director defended economic privilege.From his early days as a critic in Stalinist intellectualcircles to his final years as a fiIra-maker among thestructuralists, Truffaut's principal complaint against thepolitically committed was that they used abstract ideology todisguise their bad personal behaviour and human failings.Truffaut's world view was uncompromisingly all-inclusive:- A /• X"tout le monde a besoin d'etre aime, tout le monde a droit as1'amour, a commencer par les bourgeois et les flics" (Gillain135). To arrive at this "1789" of the faut renpncer a tout ce_ quidivise. J'ai une profonde me"fiancevis-a-vis de tout ce qui separe lemonde en deux: les bons et les mauvais,les bourgeois et les artistes, lesflics et les aventuriers. (Gillain 135)While it could be argued that this populist viewpointis small "1" liberalism par excellence, the rigour with whichit was maintained smacks of sterner political stuff. It alsoexplains why Truffaut's cinema's could win hearts and mindsthat excluded—and were excluded by--the less emotional, moreintellectual films of Godard, Resnais and Rivette. Good, bad,or indifferent, Truffaut's work always had "heart".What's more, it took it for granted that male andfemale viewers were equally interested in love. If thedirector wanted to make the men laugh and the women cry withTirez sur le pianlate (Gillain 113), he also insisted the93film was about "nothing but love: sexual, sentimental,physical, moral, social, conjugal, extra, etc." (Gillain 112).^When reading Le Lys dans la vallee and Les Deuxanglaises et le continent, one is constantly str\ick by-expressions that sound as if they were expressly written forone of Truffaut's films. In the former, we encounter therhetorical question:Existe t-il urie heure, une conjunctiond'astres, une reunion des circonstancesexpresses, une certaine femme entretoutes, pour determiner une passionexclusive, au temps ou la passionembrasse le sexe entier? (Le Lysdans la vallee 32)It didn't seem to matter to Truffaut whether thesehigh-flown sentiments were expressed by a male or a femalenarrator, as we learn from a similar passage in Roche's secondnove1:, f Je crois que poxir chaque femme aete cree un homrne qui est son epoux.Bien qu'il puisse exister plusieurshommes avec lesquels elle pourraitavoir une vie paisible, utile et memeagreable, il n'y en a qu'un qui soit1'epoux parfait. (Les Deux anglaiseset le continent. 55)Romance was clearly a subject which Truffaut felt tobe universal, not a topic to be confined to a gender ghetto.His enthusiasm, for this side of life was, as always, boundedby long-term pessimism vis-a-vis its prospects of success.94On the other hand, the very transience of sensual joycontributed to its bittersweet beauty. Truffaut's couples areas tangibly mutable as any of Pierre-Auguste Renoir'suncommitted dancers. The film-maker's romantic "Impressionism"accounts in large measure for the difficulty some criticshave in classifying Truffaut's later films as either "art"or "entertainment".Still, despite the director's growing indifference to"form" after his first three features, one looks in vain fora "commissioned" work in his filmography. Even when he wasmost "slack", Truffaut was never a pompier.The same motifs appear repeatedly in the Antoine Doinelfilms, for example, regardless of their quality. One isstruck in particular by the parallels drawn between love ofwomen and love of writing. From his mother onwards, thefemales in Antoine's life alternately urge him to put pen topaper and to shut up. In one of her rare warm moments withher 13 year old son, Madame Doinel informs this poor studentthat it makes sense to master French composition, sincewriting is always important, if only for letters. By thesame token, she is the silent force behind Antoine's physicalchastisement when his shrine to Balzac goes up in smoke. Adouble message is thus delivered: writing is fine so long asit doesn't result in social disturbance.Similar conflicts attend Antoine's relations withChristine and Colette. The would-be novelist's disenchantedwife is primly dismissive of her husband's autobiographicalnovel:95Zon't send me a copy. I won't readit. I don't like the idea of tellingall about your youth, of blamingyour parents, of washing dirty linenin public... I'm not an intellectual,but 1 know this: writing a book tosettle old scores isn't art! (TheAdventures of Antoine Doinel 3091Antoine is caught in a classic double bind; because heis attracted only to "nice middle class girls", he isnaturally condemned to meeting precisely those women whocan't understand his inner conflicts. Antoine and Christinewant to give their son different names; they read differentbooks in bed. When, during their courtship, Antoine explainsthat, because of his detective work, they will have to go toa cabaret rather than a movie, Christine seems delighted bythis change.Of course, being pillars of the Parisian bourgeoisie,the Darbon family is no stranger to middle class hypocrisy.Thus, when Antoine encounters his father-in-law on the stepsof a brothel, the latter smirks, "There's nothing like a goodhouse to complete a happy home."Interestingly enough, the women from families otherthan his own, are often the most like Antoine's mother.Colette in particular surrounds herself with unbreachablefroideur. In Antoine et Colette, she is barely aware of hercomically determined suitor's existence. Later on, in*Baisers voles, when Colette bumps into Antoine en the streetwitn her new husband and baby in tow, she greets him as ifhe were just some dimly remembered school chum from long ago.96Finally, when she follows Antoine onto the train in L'Amouren fuite, her principal urge is to set him straight about the"inaccuracies" concerning their relationship which he setdown in his novel. Instead of calling him an "idiot" and a"pain in the neck", the more spontaneous expletives of heryouth, Colette can now use her lawyer's training todeconstruct Antoine's lies in a systematic way. Far frombeing the victim of circumstance, she argues, he was usuallythe author of his own misfortunes. All Antoine can do in hisown defence is to weakly sputter, "Oui, c'est vrai. Mais* sprobablement pour des raisons d'equilibre, j'ai inverse lessituations" (L'Amour en fuite 22). Clearly feelinguncomfortable about being so expertly cornered, Antoine addsthat he now plans to write "an entirely invented novel" abouta romance that begins with a torn photograph and an overheardtelephone call. Naturally, this "invention" turns out to bethe origin of his latest affair. To win Sabine back, he muststell this story again: "une premiere fois qu'Antoine aurait' s sinventee et une deuxieme fois en racontant la verite vraie"(Gillain 385).In L'Amour en fuite, we see how much Antoine has reliedon the "bitchiness" of his women to anchor him to reality.Colette accuses him of being interested only in the pursuitof women, and not in relationships per se. She refuses to lethim kiss her because "it takes two for that." Before Sabineagrees to take him back, he must expose the "client dragueur"side of his personal icy.In general, Antoine is not interested in women who97accept him easily and without reservation. The soleexception to this rule would seem to be Fabienne Tabard, andthat, uncoincidentally, proves to be the most fleetingrelationship of his life. It is also the most literary.Lasting all of one afternoon, it probably never would havetranspired at all if not for the participants' shared lovefor Le Lys dans la vallee. Fabienne is summoned to Antoine'sbedside by a romantic letter sent whistling through theParisian pneumatique. Despite its extreme brevity, thisliaison manages to remain essentially epistolary in nature.Whenever he can, Antoine prefers to avoid face-to-faceencounters, even in matters of the heart. On the night whenhis extramarital affair with Koko abruptly ends, he constantlyexcuses himself from dinner to talk to Christine on thephone, eventually returning to the table that his Japaneselover has left after scrawling the words "DROP DEAD" on theback of her table napkin.By the same token, words are often more important toAntoine than the things they represent. Whereas most menare content to name their own penises, Antoine goes one stepfurther when he expresses the wish to individually identifyeach of his wife's different-sized breasts. Aside fromextending a male fetish into the realm of the feminine, thisobsession with nomenclature, like so many of this "alterego's" traits, enjoys a Balzacian precedent. Felix deVandenesse, as we have already seen, was uniquely privilegedto address Madame de Mortsauf as "Henriette". According to-• ^ ^Roger Pierrot, "Ce jeu du prenom exclusif etait cher a Balzac98« . . - « • x-pour qui Laure d'Abrantes et Helene de Valette etalent Marie,Frances Guidoboni-Visconti, Sarah" (Le Lys dans la jvallee x).Antoine surrenders most abjectly to the joy of naming when,xin Baisers voles, he stands before the bathroom mirror,touches his face in amazement, and chants the name "FabienneTabard" six times in succession, then "Christine Darbon", thenfinally his own. It was doubtless this scene which promptedJean Collet to observe that, "Dans le miroir, ce n!est pasAntoine qu'on cherche. C'est sa mere." (Collet 45)While there is no evidence in either the director'spublished letters or his major interviews that he was astudent of Jacques Lacan, there is enough mirror imagery inhis films to suggest that he was influenced by thepsychologist's seminal essay, "The Mirror Stage" (1949).Lacan wrote:We have only to understand the mirrorstage as an identification...thetransformation that takes place inthe subject when he assumes an image...This jubilant assumption of his specularimage by the child at the infansstage, still sunk in his motor incapacityand nursling dependence, would seemto exhibit in an exemplary situationthe symbolic matrix in which theJ_ is precipitated in a primordialform, before it is objectified inthe dialectic of identification withthe other (Lacan 2).This "Gestalt" which symbolizes the mental permanenceof the _!, "at the same time as it prefigures its alienatingdestination'' (Lacan 2) is botn a great leap forward for the99self and a premonition of sadder things to come:This moment in which the mirror-stage comes to an end inaugurates,by the identification with the imagoof the counterpart and the drama ofprimordial jealousy...the dialecticthat will henceforth link the !_ tosocially elaborated situations.(Lacan 5)In a moment of nervousness, Antoine addresses Fabienneas "Monsieur", while he customarily refers to Madame Darbonas ''Mother'1. One can't help wondering, in the first instance,which "M" word his tongue tripped over: "Madame" or. Q"Mere". Madame Tabard might profess to see in this verbalawkwardness nothing but charming tact, but less interested*viewers will surely realize that "Ce que desire Antoine,c'est se perdre--et se retrouver--dans 1'etre aime" (Collet147). Antoine's libido was shaped, after all, by hismother's casual disrobing in his presence; the same couldbe said for Bertrand, the womanizing hero of L'Homme guialmait les femmes. Adele Hugo, it should be recalled,inscribed the name of her famous father in a mirror with herfinger, while in Fahreriheit 451 Julie Christie played twodifferent women, each the mirror image of the other. WhenAntoine's mother stared into the glass, all she saw was thenarcissistic reflection of her own beauty; her little boy wasjust a background blur. It could be said, that in all hissubsequent relations with women Antoine Doinel attempts toreverse this polar!cy, to foreground himself at the expense100of the "other". Because he was never "seen" himself, Antoinegenerally looks at women with eyes that are almost equallyblind. This is the same "veritable et definitive castration"(Collet 213) which one French critic has seen as the definingprinciple in Claude's relationship to the two sisters in LesDeux anglaises et le continent.Perhaps Truffaut's aversion to Roche the man can bepartially explained by the; semi-conscious fear that he andthe late-blooming author were, at bottom, very much alike,and that if he had been similarly cosseted by a doting motherand surfeited with unearned wealth, he might well have woundup equally "castrated" in his relationships with women. Itwas only his absolute leisure, after all, his income-fuelledability to disappear into the stacks of the BibliothequeNationale for unlimited periods of time, that freed Claudefrom the necessity of making any sexual demands at all (LesDeux anglaises et le continent). For, despite the rapturousmontage of book spines "hot off the presses" in Truffaut'sscreen version of Roche's second novel, words alone were notenough to satisfy the film-maker's emotional needs. Books,films and people were equally important to his sense ofpersonal well-being.In his personal relations with women, Truffaut seemsto have been neither as infantile as Antoine nor asobsessively promiscuous as Bertrand. Molly Haskell, forinstance, though quite harsh on Truffaut's failure tounderstand "a woman's point of view" (Haskell 304), seems tohave found him thoroughly engaging as a human being:101Francois Truffaut came over in 1968,just after having disrupted the CannesFilm Festival. I was his guardian.Truffaut being a great lover of womenboth on- offscreen, we had awonderful time, exchanging looks andgiggles and talking movies. We wentto see Stanley Kubrick's 2001 (Truffautinsisted on getting there half anhour ahead of time) and held handsas we watched the ships waltzingthrough space. (Premiere Dec. 1989154)To enjoy "exchanging looks and giggles", one mustparadoxically hav/e an "adult" personality, because overtdemonstrations of childlike behaviour are too threatening tothe genuinely infantile. Both Marie-France Pisier (Pisier53) and Jeanne Moreau (Fanne 47) recalled the director'schildlike laugh. With the exception of Julia Philips, theHollywood producer whose cocaine-induced decline is pungentlydescribed in her memoir. You'll Never Eat Lunch in This TownAgain, virtually all of the film-maker's female collaboratorsmaintained fond memories of their working experiences.Even after his divorce, Truffaut managed to remain on goodterms with his ex-wife because "our friendship is absolutelyindispensable, above all because of the children" (Letters231).Actors in particular were the beneficiaries of thefilm-maker's "responsible" affections. Agnes Guillemot, theeditor of several of Truffaut's films, observed that "11est impertinent avec le entier, mais il a un respectsublime pour les acteurs" (Fanne 26). When FrancoiseDorleac died tragically young, Truffaut published a moving102tribute to the star of La Peau douce in a 1968 number ofCahiers du cinema. Balzac wrote that the skill of actors isakin to that of surgeons, since both talents are condemnedto exist in the immediate present (La Recherche de 1'absolu303). While the invention of celluloid has expanded therange of thespian immortality somewhat, Truffaut unquestionablyshared the novelist's sentiments in this regard.What's more, this fondness was not a cynical excuse forPygmalion-like sexual predation. Although a practisingheterosexual, Truffaut was as fond of male actors as he wasof their female counterparts. Indeed, he was probably most"protective" of Jean-Pierre Leaud, his onscreen alter ego.Affinity of "spirit" accounted for this more than commonalityof interest: "...he was not much of a reader; while heundoubtedly had an inner life of his own, he was already achild of the audio-visual era; he would sooner steal some RayCharles records than literary works of the French classics"(The Adventures of Antoine Doinel 8). Leaud's "rejection"by the French public bothered this "spiritual father" deeply;they "prefer Lino Ventura," he complained (Gillain 322).When he felt that his "spiritual son" had been slighted byJean-Luc Godard, he took his former friend to task in afamous letter:As regards Jean Pierre...Ithink it's obnoxious of you to kickhim when he's down, obnoxious toextort money by intimidation fromsomeone who is fifteen years youngerthan you and whom you used to pay lessthan a million when he was the lead103in films chat were earning thirtytimes as much.Yes, Jean-Pierre has changed sinceLes 400 Coups, but I can tell youit was in Pjascul in-Feminin., that Inoticed for the first time that hecould be filled with anxiety ratherthan pleasure ab the notion of findinghimself in front of a camera. Thefilm was good and he was good in thefilm, but that first scene, in thecafe, was a painful experience foranyone looking at him with affectionand not with an entomologist's eye.(Letters 385)In fine fighting form, Truffaut sounds here like anover-protective "mother hen".Despite his expressed preference for "feminine" women,the film-maker clearly did not feel that femininity equalledcinematic incompetence. He was as willing and eager to workwith women as he was with men, and not just in the director/actress mode either. Suzanne Schiffman worked her way upfrom production assistant to assistant director and co-writerstatus. Agnes Guillemot cut many of his films. A formerjournalist himself, Truffaut seemed to harbour a specialfondness for female scribes, describing Annette Insdorf'sbook on him as "the best", giving his most revealinginterviews to Aline Desjardins, and agitating tirelessly onbehalf of Janine Bazin's various projects. His closestconfidante in later life was Helen Scott, an ex-Communist and.former employee of the French Film Office in New York, whointerpreted for Truffaut during the course of his interviewswith Alfred Hitchcock, and supervised the translation of alltexts. For Truffaut, the ideal female friend balancedHenriette's attentiveness and savoir-faire with Lady Dudley'spractical competence and joie de vivre.Even the people with the most reason to hate him, suchas Jean Aurenche, the principal target of "A Certain Tendencyin the French Cinema", came to think equably of him at theend of his life, with the notable exception of Claude Autant-%Lara "qui. . . continuait a irisul ter Truffaut sur son lit demort" (Le Roman 20).4Truffaut's hates, like his loves, were never abstract.f •*As Jean-Luc Godard ruefully commented, "il n'hesita pas ajeter aux autres sa premiere pierre" (Le Roman 20). Sincepersonal relations were paramount in Truffaut's eyes, hewould not allow intellectual posturing as an an excuse forbad behaviour. Unlike Antoine Doinel, the director relatedto others on as "personal" a plane as possible. Friendshipwas an essential pre-requisite for anything of intimate value.If his unhappy childhood made him doubt the permanence andvalidity of the romantic couple, he never lost faith in thejoys and pleasures of sensual love, no matter how high theprice this indulgence might eventually exact. Friends, lovers,books and films were artistically translated into friends,lovers, books and films within his own films. In the cinemahe didn't have to "compete" with the most important of his"spiritual fathers": Honore de Balzac died 45 years beforeFred Qtt's Sneeze first flickered. Truffaut!s films are thecompletion of the novel he abandoned so early in his career.105Notes to Chapter FiveAlthough it has been said that "Une sorted' ambivalence habite les personnages de Truffaut, qui leur<fdonne leur ambiguite'1 (Fanne 101), suggestions ofhomosexuality are remarkably rare in Truffaut's work. Eventhe director's "Don Juans" owe their primary allegiance towomen, however warped that loyalty might be. Not even inJules et Jim did he deign to explore the inversion latent inHollywood-style "buddy films". If interest wens absent,though, so was hostility. The distraught homosexual who is*>told by the head of the detective agency in Baisers voles thathis former boyfriend has gotten married is treated nodifferently than any other Truffaut-crossed lover. Antoine'ssuspicion of Christine's lesbian tendencies was arousedprimarily by a serendipitous reading of Colette's fiction.The gay stage director and lesbian costume designer in LeDernier metro are presented without condecension. Accordingto Jean Gruault, Truffaut's frequent script collaborator, "IIN...avait beaucoup de sympathie pour les amours saphiques aqui il attribuait plus de douceur, de tendresse qu'aux amourshomosexuel les entre homines" (Gruault 1991: 86). Lesbians,after all, were also obsessed with women.2In La Peau douce, the title of Pierre Lachenay's bookon the great 19th century novelist is Balzac et 1'argent.106According to one biographer, each of Balzac's manylove affairs "always began with the declaration: 'I neverhad a mother, I never had a mother's love.'" (Pritchett 25)4Even Truffaut's philo-Semitism, one of his motivationsfor making Le Dernier metro, owed more to personal affectionthan it did to philsophical commitment, Helen Scott,Suzanne Schiffman and his first, wife were all Jewish, as wasPierre Braunberger, the uniquely supportive producer whobankrolled Tirez sur le pianiste. Truffaut's first twodaughters were Halachically Jewish. As a non-believer, thereligious tenets of the community meant little to him, butits traditional "family warmth" was immensely appealing.107CHAPTER SIX: CONCLUSIONAil of Francois Truffaut's loves were bounded by time.He understood "how much is dependent; upon time, that it isnot so much what we do as when we do it'1 (Insdorf 30). Toa certain extent, what was said about Baisers voles couldapply to all of the director's movies, that "the film's ratherdated air is due to the fact that the corresponding eventsin Truffaut's life took place in 1950 - 5" (Crisp 105).Although he probably had more to do with the foundation ofthe Nouvelle Vague' s ''present tense" ideology than anybodyelse, he was paradoxically the practising theorist, most inlove with "period" films. His autobiographical experiencewas always at odds with the time frame he chose to work in."Datedness" is ubiquitous in the Doinel films. Baisersvole's eponymous theme song was originally recorded in 1942.Andre Falcon, the actor portraying the head of Antoine'sdetective agency, was once the reigning jeune premier at theCornedie Francaise. Even Antoine's "sleuth" persona isssomewhat inexact since, according to the director, "A sonage j'avals ete journalists et je voulais m'eloigner des1 autobiographic. Detective prive, cela rejoignaitiindirectement le journal isme1' (Cillain 196).Elsewhere, he elaborated:108If the audience expected StolenKisses to be a statement of modernyouth, they were bound to be disappointed,for it is precisely because of hisanachronistic romanticism that Ifound Jean-Pierre so appealing...As for myself, I am a nostalgic; Iam not tuned in on what is modern,it is in the past that I find myinspiration.... (The Adventures ofAntoine Doinel 11)When Antoine says, "I never blow my nose in paper,"this dandyish retort speaks from the heart, of the 19th century.Art works can transcend time, but artists cannot. Likeeveryone else, they age and expire at a relatively fixedrate. Despite the director's brave deathbed assertion thatonly salauds think they're indispensable, that cannot haveremoved all of mortality's sting for a man so fond of the.simple pleasures of life, even if motion pictures, likechildren, are a means of insuring one's posterity.In some respects, Truffaut's final days seem almostabsurdly redolent of ''artistic closure". When thinking ofthe turnor that killed him in the early days of 1984, one can'thelp but recall that he had to give up a commission to makea short documentary on cancer in order to shoot his firstfeature. Only slightly older than Balzac had been at the timeof his death, Truffaut had recently remarried and wasanticipating the birth of his third child. While he had beenmarried before, unlike the great 19th century novelist at thetime of his late nuptuals with Madame Hanska, this domesticchange must have seemed equally momentous.Old friends were constantly amazed by the film-maker's109unflagging interest in others, despite the gravity of his ownillness. Roberto Rosseliini was touched that Truffaut hadexpressed concern about an operation recently undergone byone of the Italian director's daughters (Le Roman 135).Of cotarse, it could be argued that Truffaut had alwaysfelt "old". His formative years were spent with hisgrandmother, where he was expected to behave like aparticularly perspicacious adult. It was not for nothingthat he made a film about "the feeling of turning fifty" whenhe was still in his late 20s. A couple of years after that,the director would wonder if he would live long enough tocomplete the editing of Jules et Jim. "Le bonheur des autres->Nest la consolation de ceux qui ne peuvent plus etre heureux"*(Le Lys dans la vallee 437) was a Balzacian dictum thatTruffaut clearly took to heart at a precociously early age.Increasingly, his screen characters would comment onthe passage of time. At the end of Les Deux anglaises et lecontinent, Alphonse wonders if a passing English school girlmight be his daughter, sighing "I seem old today" when hecatches his reflection iri a glass. Four years later, AdeleHugo would comment, "Despite my youth, I sometimes feel I amin the autumn of my life" (Adele H 84).The "flaccidity" of wnich Truffaut's later works wereoften accused might well be nothing more than increasedconcern about mortality. This might explain why the directorbegan to employ big name male stars on a regular basis after1980; their "clout" at the boxoffice might also help extendthe films' longevity.110As he got older, Truffaut saw fewer movies, but thismoderation paradoxically seemed to increase his preferencefor cinema over real life. In 1982, he compared the aftermathof a terrorist bombing attack to Rossellini's Germany Year Zero(Letters 544). Never an avid traveller, his appreciationof the outside world grew increasingly dim. According toJean Gruault, who worked on a script with Truffaut in Belgium,the director would never leave his hotel room "except tovisit the bookstores." For him, this was the ideal life.(Gruault 1991: 88)In the end, Gruault seems to have played a similar roleto the one played by Robert Lachenay in the beginning. ForTruffaut, time might have been the ultimate killer, but itschronological circularity also helped to "square" things inthe end. Thus, the memory of Antoine's mother is sweetenedsomewhat by the knowledge that she is burled in the Cimetierede Montparnasse, not far from the grave of La Dame auxcamel ias. That both the deceased are "fictional'' charactersbased on real women deepens the bittersweet irony.Nostalgia can likewise be perceived in the periodphotographs included in Le Dernier metro, and in the 1940s-style anachronisms adhering to Vivement dimanche. a sort oflove letter to the romantic Hollywood thrillers contemporaneouswith the director's own youth. Even La Petite voleuse, theTruffaut screenplay that would be directed by Claude Millerseveral years after the author's death, was far more thanjust a ''distaff" re-make of Les 400 coups. As early as J965,Truffauc described how "I saw my very first mistress again,Illthe first girl I ever lived with":She's no longer much to look at, justlike me, and she's been in prison,3 children, street walking and abit of everything. She lives inMarseille. I'll go and see her inOctober to tape an interview withher on which I will base the scenarioof La Petite Volease. (Letters 289)It seems as if this old girlfriend functioned as asort of doppelganger for Truffaut, as a reminder of what couldhave happened to him if he hadn't been rescued from hismisery by love, "spiritual fathers", and art. By the sametoken, his feeling for children never evaporated. Thedirector was still writing about them on his deathbed:...Des enfants chantent "Sur nosmonts...tous puissants..." C'estla fin du synopsis de ce qui auraitle 22e Jong metraae de Francois,Truffaut. . . Oes iicmes ont ete ecrit.esquelques heures avant quen'eclatedans sa t£te la premiere explosioncause par une turneur. (Le Roman56 - 57 )zWhil** Truffaut once commissioned Jean Gruault to writea script dealing with brother and sister incest in the MiddleAges, he was far more interested in a project set in therecent past:Of the three projects on thedrawing board, an untitied work onFrance from 1900 was by far the mostambitious and demanding... The idea112was to make a saga showing the livesof a group of characters both realand imaginary, between 1900 and theoutbreak of World War One. Thecharacters would have children whowould themselves be the subject ofsubsequent films set in the Twentiesand Thirties and the cycle wouldterminate in the Forties with LeDernier Metro.It's easy to see why this project, which the directorsolemnly assured Jean Gruault "would keep us in work till theend of our days" (Gruault 1991: 85), should have appealed sostrongly to Truffaut. He had, after all, been graduallyretreating from the experientai aspects of existence all hislife. The actual physical presence of people creates tension,regardless of whethtir they happen to be parents, lovers,children or friends. Only in memory are relationshipswithout pain, and masochism is one sin of which Truffaut hasnever been accused. To vicariously enjoy the love pangs ofothers, or to reconstruct one's own emotional entanglementson a fictional basis, had always appealed, to Truffaut, andthis appeal expanded with the years. During the last decadeof his life, Truffaut, following in the footsteps of his idolJean Renoir, frequently visited Hollywood, the world's most,famous "shrine" to the dreams of his youth. His studies ofEnglish became more serious, if no more successful, than hisearlier struggles with the language of Hitchcock, arid hemarried Fanny Ardant. Little else of a contemporary natureseems to have had much bearing on the director's work.It should be remembered here that, after Balzac, Marcel113Frowst was Truffaut's favourite French author. If part ofthe allure of the director's work rests on its Cornedie humaineaffinities, its intense nostalgia and obsession with pasttime also owes something to A la recherche du temps perdu,,the novel cycle which begins when the narrator sees hischildhood reflected by a pastry, a childhood spent impatientlyawaiting a mother's kisses. In Truffaut's "non-travels" toforeign cities in order to write screenplays, it is easy toperceive a direct approximation of Proust's famous cork-linedroom.Time gives and time takes away. For this, it must beboth loved and feared. In Truffaut's proposed new "novel",generations of children would be born, countless affairs wouldbe consummated., and the cycle would conclude in the years ofTruffaut's own boyhood. Symbolically, 'che film-maker wouldreturn to the womb he so passionately adored, the first locusof his love,, the paradise from which lie had been expelledlong before he was born.Notes to Chapter Sixi"In his youth, Truffaut had worked as a messenger boy,storeman, office worker, and welder, but he did not incorporatethese professions in Baisers voles. Instead, he had his co-scenarists interview practitioners of all the metiers,performed by his "alter ego", Antoine Doinel.2In L'Amour en fuite, Antoine refers to children'sliterature as the most difficult of genres.115TRUFFAUT FILMOGRAPHYLes Quatre cents coups/The 400 Blows. Scr. Francois Truffautand Marcel Moussy. Jean-Pierre Leaud (Antoine Dp i ne1),Claire Maurier (Madame Doinel), Albert Remy (MonsieurDoinel), Patrick Auffay (Rene Bigey). Les Films duCarrosse/SEDlF, 1959.Tirez sur le pianiste/Shoot the Piano Player. Scr. FrancoisTruffaut and Marcel Moussy. Charles Aznavour (EdouardSaroyan/Charlie Kohler), Marie Dubois (Lena), NicoleBerger (Theresa). Les Films de la Pleiade, 1960.Jules et Jim/Jules and Jim. Scr. Francois Truffaut andJean Gruault, Jeanne; Moreau (Catherine), Oskar Werner(Jules), Henri Serre (Jjjn), Marie Dubois (Therese).Les Films du Carrosse/Sedif, 1961.Antoine et Colette/Antoine and Colette. One of five episodesin Love at Twenty, a Franco-Italian-Japanese-Polish-West German omnibus film. Scr. Francois Truffaut.Jean-Pierre Leaud (Antoine), Marie-France Pisier(Colette). Ulysse Productions/Unitel, 1962.Baisers voles/Stolen Kisses. Scr. Francois Truffaut, Claudede Givray, and Bernard Revon. Jean-Pierre Leaud(Antoine Doinel), Claude Jade (Christine Darbon),Delphine Seyrig (Fab ienne Tabard), Michel Lonsdale(Monsieur Tabard). Les Films du Carrosse/LesProductions Artistes Associes, 1968.116Domicile Conjugale/Bed and Board. Scr. Francois Truffaut,Claude de Givray and Bernard Revon. Jean-Pierre Leaud(Antoine), Claude Jade (Christine), Hiroko Berghauer(Kyoko). Les Films du Carrosse/Valeria Films(Paris), Fida Cinematografica (Rome).., 1970.Les Deux anglaises et le continent/The Two English Girls.Scr. Francois Truffaut and Jean Gruault. Jean-PierreLeaud (C1 aude Roc), Kika Markham (Anne Brown) , StaceyTendeter (Muriel Brown). Les Films du Carrosse/Cinetel,1971.L/Amour en fuibe/Love on the Run. Scr, Francois TruffautMarie-France Pisier, Jean Aurel, and Suzanne Schiffman.Jean-Pierre Leaud (Antoine), Marie-France Pisier{Colette}. Claude Jade (Christine), Dorothee (SabineBarnerias). Les Films du Carrosse, 1979.117BIBLIOGRAPHYBooksAllen, Don. Finally Truffaut. London: Martin Seeker andWarburg, 1985.Ariues, Roy. French Film. London: Blue Star House, 1970.Balzac, Honore de. Le Lys dans la vallee. Intro. RogerPierrot. Paris: Le Livre de poche, 1972.Le Pere Gpriot. Paris: Flammarion, 1966.La Recherche de 1'absolu. Paris: Gallimard, 1964,Bazin, Andre. Jean Renoir. Intro. Francois Truffaut. NewYork: Simon and Schuster, 1973,Boyum, Jay Gould. Fiction Into Film. New York: New AmericanLibrary, 1985.Braudy, Leo, ed. Focus on Shoot the Piano Player. EnqlewoodCliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1972.Buss, Robin. TheJvrench Through Their Films. London: B.T.Batsford, 1988.Collet, Jean. Le Cinema de Francois Truffaut. Paris:Pierre Lherminiere, 1977.Crisp, Don. Francois Truffaut. London: Praeger, 1972.Desjardins. Aline. Entretiens. Montreal: Radio Canada, 1971.Fanne, Dominique. L'Univers de Francois Truffaut. Paris:Editions des arts, 1972.118Gil lain, Anne, ed. Le Cinema selon Francois Truffaut. Paris:F1ammar ion, 1988.Good is, David. Shoot the Piano Player. INfew York: RandomHouse, 1990.Haskell, Molly. From Reverence to Rape. Markham: PenguinBooks, 1974.Insdorf, Annette. Francois Truffaut. New York: Morrow, 1979.Kael, Pauline. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Boston: Little, Brownand Company, 1968.Reeling. New York: Warner Books, 1977.When the Lights Go Down. New York: Holt, Rinenart andWinston, 1980.Lacan, Jacques. Egrits. New York: Norton, 1977.Kauffmann, Stanley. Figures of Light. New York: Harperand Row, 1971.Marceau, Felicien. Balzac and His World. New York: OrionPress, 1966.Monaco, James. The New Wave. New York: Oxford UniversityPress, 1976,Moussy, Marcel. Les 400 coups. Paris: Gallimard, 1959.Phi11ips, Ju1ia. You'll Never Eat Lunch in This Town Again.New York: Signet, 1992.Pritchett, V. S. Balzac. London: Chatto arid Windus, 1977.Rotoourdin, Dornigue, ed. Truffaut by Truffaut. New York:Henry N. Abrams, 1981.119ScreenplaysTruffaut, Francois. The Adventures of Antoine Doinel. NewYork: Simon and Schuster, 1971.The Story of Adele H. New York: Grove Press, 1976.Truffaut, Francois and Jean Gruault. Les Deux angl_aises_etle continent. Paris: L'Avant-scene du cinema 121, 1972.Truffaut, Francois and Marcel Moussy. The 400 Blows. NewYork: Grove Press, 1969.Truffaut, Francois and Marie-France Pisier, Jean Aurei, andSuzanne Schiffman. L'Amour en fuite. Paris: L'Avant-scene du cinema 254, 1980.120ArticlesLes Cahiers. "Le Journalade $ 46." Collectively writteneditorial. Cahiers du cinema 365 (1984): I.Chevrie, Marc. "L'Amour a 1'imparfait." Cahiers du cinema369 (1985): 9 - 11 .Cornelli, Jean-Louis and Jean Narboni. "Entretien avecFrancois Truffaut." Cahiers du cinema 190 (1967): 18- 30; 69 - 70.Dubois, Marie. "Enguelade." Cahiers du cinema 443/44(1991): 30.Gruault, Jean. "Noni de code 00-14." Gahiers du cinema 447(1991): 82 - 88.Haskell, Molly. "Jules and Jim and Molly." Premiere Dec.1989: 154.Hess, John. "La Politique des auteurs Part One: World Viewas Aesthetic." Jump Cut 1 (1974): 19 - 22."La Politique des auteurs Part Two: Truffaut'sManifesto." Jump Gut 2 (1974): 20 - 23.Kinder, Marsha and Berverle Houston. "Truffaut's GorgeousKillers." Film Quarterly 27:2 (1973 - 1974): 2 - 10.Pisier, Marie-France. "Premiere lecon. " Cahiers du. cinema443/444 (1991): 53.Toubiana, Serge. "L'Homrne qui aimait deux femmes." Cahiersdu cinema 369 (1985): 5 - 7."Helene Scott, 1'intrepide." Cahiers du cinema 402(1987): XVI.121.Truffaut, Francois. "A Certain Tendency of the French Cinema."Movies and Methods. Ed. Bill Nichols. Berkeley:Uni ver si ty of Ca1i forn ia Pr ess, 1976."The Rogues are Weary," Cahiers du cinema Vol. I, The1950s: Nee-Realism, Hollywood, New Wave. Ed. JimHillier. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1985."A Wonderful Certainty." Cahiers du cinema Vol. I, The1950s: Nee-Realism, Hollywood, New Wave. Ed. JimHillier. London: Routledge arid Kegan Paul, 1985.


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