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UBC Theses and Dissertations

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


The Origins and Uses of Love in the Cinema of Francois Truffaut attempts to explain how the Nouvelle Vague filmmaker's passions and enthusiasms created both the substance and aesthetic of his work. For the sake of concision, this study has been restricted primarily to the analysis of eight key films in the director's work. These seven features and one short have been further sub-divided into three "blocs": Les 400 coups, Antoine et Colette, Baisers voles. Domicile conjugale, and L'Amour en fuite making up the set centred on the adventures of Antoine Doinel; Jules et Jim and Les_ Deux anglaises et le continent constituting the diptych inspired by the novels of Henri-Pierre Roche; and Tirez sur le pianiste, the sole monadal entry, representing Truffaut's attraction to Hollywood genre cinema. Each of the director's four principal passions are granted a self-explicating chapter: 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 was counterbalanced by an equally profound hatred for the objective conditions of childhood. Love of Film encompasses film criticism as well as film-making; it shows how Truffaut's formative viewing experiences subsequently influenced his choice of subject matter. Love of .literature places special emphasis on the works of Honore de Balzac and Henri-Pierre Roche, The Antoine Doinel films, it is argued, are essentially a mini-Comedie humaine. Love of Love encompasses both romance and friendship. How Truffaut could glory in the pleasures of heterosexual love without really believing in its permanence proves pivotal in this chapter. How all these "loves" were bounded by the director's love/hate relationship to time is discussed in the thesis conclusion.

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