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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truffaut's 8 1/2
All of Truffaut's works are autobiographical. Day for Night is merely the most obvious case of this self-scrutiny. It has the loose charm of many of his films. It begins with a scene in which there are too many people, in which there is too much light and too much charm. To the casual eye, this looks like a misjudgement of direction. By the end of the film, however, the...
Published on 18 April 2012 by Filmfan

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars DVD not as described - beware!
The film is still a classic. Unfortunately, the DVD I received is an Italian one although the outer case is in French. The outer case, like the Amazon description, promises subtitles in various languages including English, and extra commentaries. The actual disc has only subtitles in French or Italian and no extras at all.

Do not buy this DVD based on the...
Published on 9 Jun. 2012 by BAC


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars DVD not as described - beware!, 9 Jun. 2012
By 
BAC (London UK) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Day for Night ( La Nuit américaine ) ( The American Night ) (DVD)
The film is still a classic. Unfortunately, the DVD I received is an Italian one although the outer case is in French. The outer case, like the Amazon description, promises subtitles in various languages including English, and extra commentaries. The actual disc has only subtitles in French or Italian and no extras at all.

Do not buy this DVD based on the description on Amazon, it is incorrect and the product is not as advertised.

I shall not buy anything from this seller - ARVOnline - again.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truffaut's 8 1/2, 18 April 2012
This review is from: Day for Night ( La Nuit américaine ) ( The American Night ) (DVD)
All of Truffaut's works are autobiographical. Day for Night is merely the most obvious case of this self-scrutiny. It has the loose charm of many of his films. It begins with a scene in which there are too many people, in which there is too much light and too much charm. To the casual eye, this looks like a misjudgement of direction. By the end of the film, however, the mistakes have all been corrected by the real director (Truffaut as the normal, invisible, Truffaut rather than the version we see playing himself) and the scene works powerfully.

Truffaut is capable of self-parody and this film proves it. And yet, it teases us for a long time. Is it really just a much less sophisticated version of Fellini's 'Otto E Mezzo'? After all, the black-and-white flashbacks of the mini-Truffaut look like a completely misapplied understanding of Fellini's subtle Jungian detours into memory and fantasy. And, if the film had continued in this vein, with the story's director (Truffaut playing himself) seeming remote and uninteresting, we would have thought the film an embarrassing failure.

Yet, from the moment that Jacqueline Bisset appears, the film jumps into a more pressing and infinitely more vital version of itself. We now have a real film-star, rather than the pretend ones and we engage more deeply with the story, because of the magic of film narrative. Leaud plays his usual self: vain, childish, selfish, barely professional, a parody, in fact, of the idea of an actor an even of Leaud to this point in his career with Truffaut. Bisset's character, on the other hand, confounds our expectations: an American but she speaks pretty good French, has recently been recovering from a nervous breakdown (very common to the profession), has married against type and is effortlessly glamorous while yet being totally professional.

Artfully, Truffaut has wheeled in his Trojan Horse. In giving us a character we care about and like to look at, Truffaut brings out a real film inside this pretend film. We are suddenly and charateristically back to the central preoccupations of Truffaut's personal and professional life: love and the art of film-making. For Truffaut, this arena is all there is. Within his world, there are no other truths: the military-like precision of the demands of working on set or location; the human demands of hte heart in this heightened but also delusory environment. This, for him, the state of permanent war in which he has to construct all of his values and rewards.

This is why the Truffaut we see (the character supposedly Truffaut himself) is like a machine. It is the reduction of Truffaut to a set of functions-on-set. It is what the world might see if they'd understood nothing about what really drives a filmmaker to sacrifice the pleasures of a more normal bourgeois life. The cleverness and considerable art of this film is to deconstruct film-making through the auto-deconstruction of the characters' lives. It is a double metaphor, like a double-agent. We understand that film is about love through seeing people deconstructing, destroying and improvising love. They deconstruct love to understand their lives on film (and vice-versa). In doing so, Truffaut makes a whole story of normal human lives (for which this pseudo-film is, of course, another metaphor) and this completed story is the film narrative we came to see.

Day For Night (a hint of the smoke and mirror interplay of the metaphors in the title) will certainly resonate keenly with filmmakers and actors: the famous sequences, neo-documentary passages of classical music to the turning over the camera with its revolving feet-and-frame counters may even reduce them to tears. But this is just another captivating face of the underlying metaphor. This is, in fact, a film for and about everyone: we build our lives on metaphors of love. Rather than being a failed 'Eight-and-a-Half', this is a very human Truffaut version of autobiography and, for many people, is even an even more honest and moving than Fellini's great work. 'Day for Night', with all its deceptive simplicity, turns out to be just like the rest of Truffaut's films, only more so.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Day for Night, 24 Oct. 2004
By 
mrs jcm davies (London, UK Great Britain) - See all my reviews
This is a truly fabulous film, I have seen it many times.
Francois Truffaut's homage to the world of film includes an over possessive producer's wife who sits and knits on the film set, a glamorous female lead with the insecurities of a child and a disobedient kitten that doesn't want the cream.
Jean Pierre Aumont's (Alexandre) excitement at the arrival of his son on the set is particularly moving and Valentina Cortese's (Severine) attempts to learn her lines with the assistance of numbers is unbearably hilarious.
This film reflects Truffaut's lust for life, how sad for us all that his life was so short.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Truffaut Makes a Movie Within a Movie, 27 Jan. 2010
By 
Stephanie De Pue (Wilmington, NC USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Day for Night ( La Nuit américaine ) ( The American Night ) (DVD)
"Day for Night," ("La Nuit Americaine," 1973), is a widely-distributed French film by one of the leaders of the French "nouvelle vague" (New Wave) school of filmmaking, Francois Truffaut (The Francois Truffaut Collection - 6 Disc Box Set (Exclusive to Amazon.co.uk) [DVD] [1959]). It is a comedy/drama, a movie for people who love movies, made by a director - Truffaut--who certainly loved movie-making, and who plays the director, Ferrand, struggling to complete his movie within the movie while in the midst of a storm of financial troubles, and personal and professional problems among cast and crew.

The cast is certainly distinguished. The lovely Jacqueline Bisset (The Deep [DVD]) stars as Julie Baker, the troubled American film star whom the company needs to make a financial success of the picture they are making. The veteran Italian actress Valentina Cortese (Tito Gobbi - the Glass Mountain + Lucia Highlights [2005] [DVD] [NTSC]) plays Severine, veteran actress; the veteran French actor Jean-Pierre Aumont (FIVE MILES TO MIDNIGHT (All Region import) Sophia Loren) plays Alexandre, veteran actor. They've previously worked together in Hollywood, and, apparently, are also better-acquainted than that, although Alexandre's sexuality will come into question during the making of the movie. Jean-Pierre Leaud,(Pierrot Le Fou [Blu-ray] [1965]) whom Truffaut frequently used to play a young man not unlike himself, plays Alphonse, an erratic, talented, selfish and spoiled young actor. Nathalie Baye(Catch Me If You Can [DVD] [2002]), now a very popular leading French actress, in her first job fresh out of the Academie Francaise, France's most distinguished acting school, plays the script girl Joelle. The French veteran Jean Champion plays Bertrand. Graham Greene, the great English novelist, (Our Man in Havana (Vintage Classics)), who sometimes lived on the Riviera, and whom Truffaut was anxious to meet, plays an unaccredited cameo as an insurance man: Truffaut wasn't informed of his identity until later.

The film's score, a tuneful beauty, is by Georges Delerue. The script was written by Truffaut, with his frequent collaborator Suzanne Schiffman, and Jean-Louis Richard; it was, of course, directed by Truffaut. It's one of his last films, and was meant to be, with the theater-oriented The Last Metro [Blu-ray] [1980] [US Import], one of a group of films saluting the French lively arts.

The picture is set largely in the south of France, at the famous -within France, at least - Victorine Studios, an old facility whose still-standing street scapes, used in earlier movies but never torn down due to the expense involved, quite likely enabled Truffaut's movie to be made, from the financial point of view. It deals accurately, lovingly, with the difficulties involved in making a picture, from finding a cat that can act, to the death of a principal actor during filming. It shows Ferrand, the director, as a deaf man who lives what he does, and is willing to deal with any difficulties that come up. At one point he explains to his troubled people that they mustn't expect real life to be as neatly organized as the movies. However, Ferrand is also, as is Truffaut's director in "The Last Metro," willing to use any scrap of the turmoil of his cast and crew, and/or to create more turmoil, if it will strengthen his product. It's rather mild, as movies go, but there's rarely been a more clear-eyed, meticulous or affectionate portrayal of movies as they are made, and it did win an Oscar. It's still worth seeing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A movie lover's delight, 15 Dec. 2006
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
Along with Fahrenheit 451, Day For Night is easily Francois Truffaut's most playful film. It works where so many subsequent moviemaking movies don't because Truffaut doesn't put the director at the center of the picture, or indeed the movies themselves: it may be set in a movie studio on a troubled picture, but it's all about people and about love in its various forms. Moreover, for all the pains and tantrums and breakdowns, there's a real love for and acceptance its characters that makes it a particularly joyful experience. Throw in some great performances from a fine ensemble cast - not least the oft-overlooked Jean-Pierre Aumont - and a wonderful Georges Delerue score, and it's hard not to fall under its spell.

If you like the film, now is the time to pick up either Warner's excellent Region 1 disc or MK2's French PAL disc (with English subtitles on the feature and a slew of unsubtitled different extras) as both companies are being sued by the Truffaut estate over the film, which may make it unavailable for the forseable future.
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4.0 out of 5 stars It Ain't Hollywood!, 13 July 2012
By 
Tim Kidner "Hucklebrook Hound" (Salisbury, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Day for Night ( La Nuit américaine ) ( The American Night ) (DVD)
This sparkling comedy drama from French master director Francois Traffaut is the sort of self-loving, semi-mock at The Industry that they - and the critics - all love.

But, making a film about making a film can't be as easy as it would seem - how realistic do you make it, how much comedy and mishap do you throw in?

I found on this, my third viewing, that little details continue to reveal themselves and works smoother and better as a whole. Jacqueline Bisset looks lovelier than ever, as the lead actress in the movie, titled 'May I Introduce Pamela?', who's a dodgy choice as she hasn't made a film since suffering a nervous breakdown, which makes the London-based insurers twitchy...

...which puts greater pressure onto Truffaut himself, as relationships/affairs, kittens that won't drink milk, stunts that don't get stunted properly and a death in the cast, which necessitates a whole re-write. You get the picture?

This all sounds manic and possibly stupid, but as I said this isn't Hollywood and my second paragraph; Trauffaut keeps a tight rein and it all works in a kind of well-organised Robert Altman picture sort-of-way. Loose enough to seem free and flexible but with enough structure.

Many love Day for Night a lot - clever and masterful as it is - and only a seasoned director could dare such, but isn't the sort that I can really get my teeth into. Preferring Trauffaut's gritty and thought-provoking classics, this one is more about entertainment than statement. Which is fine, but I just don't get the same buzz, or anticipation from it.

The DVD - it's verified as an Amazon purchase - has only French writing on the case. The default languages setting seems to be dubbed English, which actually starts off OK, with at least actors seemingly French, speaking English but soon, lip-sync fails as more of the cast appear. It's also (presumably) dubbed into German & Spanish. To watch it properly, you need French language but you need also to set English subtitles; they don't appear automatically.

Subtitles (according to the DVD blurb, in French) are in English, German, Spanish, Swedish, Portuguese, Dutch, Hungarian, Czech, Turkish, Greek & Romanian.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius at work, 17 July 2009
By 
Truffaut was the archetypal poacher turned gamekeeper; the film critic who thought he could do better so he became a director. And what a director! This is his tribute to cinema and to film making. Most significant are the dream sequences in which the young director to be steals to the cinema in the middle of the night to take the still photos advertising "Citizen Caine". Typical of Truffaut's output this is a gently humorous film, beautifully observed and filmed. A master's tribute to his art.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Truffauts gentle satire, 10 May 2009
By 
This review is from: Day for Night ( La Nuit américaine ) ( The American Night ) (DVD)
Although not as intense as most of his work, "Day for Night" is a gentle homage to the complexities of film making, both the mechanics of filming and the unpredicatability of the actors as they react to their varied personal crises.
It shows Truffauts deep love of humanity, as the portrayals are painted with a quizzical and affectionate eye, and the film finishes with an optimistisc note, that ties up the various loose ends.
Strongly recommended as a cure for melancholy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars day for night, 9 Nov. 2010
This review is from: Day for Night ( La Nuit américaine ) ( The American Night ) (DVD)
I saw this film when it first came out and have tried to get it on dvd ever since
now that I have it on dvd it is as good as when I first saw it in the seventies
it is clever being a film about making a film; it is enjoyable ; it is fun; it is truffaut
if you like truffaut,which I do, buy it
highly recommended
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5.0 out of 5 stars How a movie gets made is more interesting than the movie itself., 2 Mar. 2011
By 
Philoctetes (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Day for Night ( La Nuit américaine ) ( The American Night ) (DVD)
A film about filmmaking.

Almost a soap opera, with everyone on the set 'up to something'. Pretty funny and pretty sexy. I fancy Woody Allen based his character Dorrie (Charlotte Rampling, 'Stardust Memories') on Truffaut's Julie (Jacqueline Bisset). Did he ever say so?

Nice to see a film where everyone is so sympathetic, even the pettish young man and the boozy old actress who keeps going out the wrong door. Truffaut plays the director, Ferrand, admirably unflappable as more and more demands are put upon him.

My first Truffaut and I'm sure I'll see more.

Recommended.
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