By Jack Shanley
Almost 50 years after it was made, ‘Day For Night’ truly stands the test of time. Screened last month at the Irish Film Institute (IFI), the classic, directed by the great French new wave director Francoise Truffaut, is one of his finest achievements.It tells the story of a committed film director struggling to finish his movie with several unexpected troubles, both personal and professional, affecting the cast and crew.It’s an entertaining romance drama about the struggle, the love and passion of the amazing craft we call filmmaking. Truffaut asks the powerful question: ‘Is cinema more important than life?’ ‘Day For Night’ is essentially about making movies with a romance story built within it, but more than that, it’s a love letter to cinema, a craft in which Truffaut devoted his life to. He once said ‘it was his own reason for living’. It’s an affectionate film with Truffaut starring as an ambitious director committed to his craft. Quite funny and charming, it takes you into the strenuous world and selfish mind of a film director. American film director Brian De Palma, a great admirer of Truffaut, was so influenced by the opening titles, designed by Michel Francois, that he used a very similar opening title for his film ‘Blow Out’ released in 1981, replacing the orchestra with screams and a beating heart. ‘Day For Night’ also has a remarkable soundtrack, scored by the effortlessly talented Georges Delerue who, through his music, gave the film this wonderful sense of hope which is essentially all that a film director really has.
Overall, ‘Day For Night’ is a beautifully crafted depiction of what a film director truly is. I give it a score of four stars as it makes you adore cinema just that little bit more.
Director–Francoise Truffaut: Rating–PG: Genre–Romance/Drama: Run Time–1h 50: Language–French, English.
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