Monday, December 15, 2008

Day for Night

"Day for Night", also known as "Nuit Americaine", directed by Francois Truffaut and released in 1973, demonstrates a "meta-film", or, a film about a film. The movie opens with a scene being practiced in the streets, the audience is aware of the actions taken by the directors and producers of the film. The plot of the movie revolves around a director who tries eagerly to complete a film but is side-tracked by a number of problems with the actors and crew. Each member of the cast seems to be going through a difficult phase in their lives, preventing them from devoting their abilities to the movie. One of the main characters, Julie Baker, is prized for her acting in Hollywood but behind the scenes is experiencing a nervous breakdown. Another actress, Severine, displays her alcohol problems while shooting a scene and is unable to deliver her lines because of her state of being. Alphonse, another character in the movie, portrays his lack of confidence and immaturity with one of the crew members he is in love with. He also has a nervous breakdown after being rejected by the girl he is in love with. The everyday troubles of each of the members of the cast and crew create the plot of the film. There isn't one concrete story to follow, however, several smaller plots that come together and give the viewer an idea of how chaotic it is to film a movie. The characters who play the actors have the most dramatic scenes and problems while the crew of the movie acts in a more normal fashion. The dramatic elements of the actors as well as the drama of the actual film-making itself make "Day for Night" one of Truffaut's most memorable works. "Day for Night" serves as a look inside the world of Francois Truffaut and offers his admirers and movie-goers a sense of what it takes to be a director. The movie reveals Truffaut's love for cinema, for example, the scene where he orders books that all seem to be about directors and movie-related topics. The dream sequences reveal his love for making films over watching them.

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