La nuit américaine / Day for Night

La nuit américaine / Day for Night

 Film Retrospective 2018-19: Nouvelle Vague, Revisited

Saturday, November 17 at 1:30 p.m.
$7 Members / $10 Non-Members / Includes a glass of French wine
54 W. Chicago Avenue

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La nuit américaine / Day for Night by François Truffaut (1973, 116 min.)

With Randy Williams- In French with English subtitles.

After Jean-Luc Godard made Le Mépris, an acrid critique of the film industry, Truffaut made his film about filmmaking, imbuing it with his own perspective on the industry. Day for Night is an affectionate, funny, heartwarming love letter to the process of making a movie, with all its idiosyncrasies, petty dramas, and magic.  

Truffaut stars as Ferrand, who is a version of himself; a passionate yet harried director, working on an atrocious international big-budget film called Meet Pamela. Around him, the actors, bringing the vain foibles and emotional baggage typical of celebrity, try to keep their heads above water in the chaotic and artificial environment of the set.

The only person, perhaps not surprisingly, who did not enjoy Day for Night at its release, was Godard. He was so incensed by the commercial nature of the film, that he wrote his long-time friend and collaborator a scathing letter, and the two never spoke again. 

La Nuit Américaine, which is what French filmmakers call the technique by which, through the use of filters, a scene shot in daylight is made to look like night, is Truffaut's love letter to people who, for one reason or another, choose to live their lives halfway between reality and illusion. - Vincent Canby, The New York Times

 Randy Williams holds down a “day job” as a trust and estate lawyer. But the rest of the time he’s free to follow a passion for French language and culture begun as a university undergraduate. A library volunteer almost 23 years ago, he was asked to start a Cine-Club for the Alliance. After protesting that he knew nothing about French film, he was assured that he’d learn. And he has, having conducted film showings ever since. In the meantime, he was elected to the Board of Directors, and was President of the Alliance for three years. He now serves on the Advisory Board, and has been decorated twice by the French government – once in the Order of Arts and Letters, and again in the Order of National Merit.

Film Retrospective 2018-2019

Nouvelle Vague, Revisited

Vintage cars and jazz music; love stories in black and white; reckless youth, smoke and style, so much style … Our new film series is all about the French New Wave with the films you know and love shown on Saturday afternoons, and weeknight screenings dedicated to the New Wave’s influence around the world and across generations—in the presence of our guest speakers.

Are you ready to be swept away? Here comes La Nouvelle Vague again!

Series curated by Aimée Laberge, and co-curated by Bailey Holtz and Randy William