Throughout May, IFI is delighted to celebrate the work of François Truffaut, one of the most influential filmmakers of his generation, and a founding member of the French New Wave.
After years working as a film critic at publications like Cahiers du Cinema, along with peers such as Jean-Luc Godard and Eric Rohmer, Truffaut became a key figure of the French New Wave of the 1950s and 1960s. This seminal, hugely influential movement rejected the outmoded tropes of traditional of French cinema in favour of a loose, formally inventive approach, with contemporary thematic concerns, and authentic location shooting.
Truffaut’s debut feature, The 400 Blows (1959), introduced us to love-struck Antoine Doinel, a recurring character – in many respects the director’s alter-ego – portrayed by Jean-Pierre Léaud, whose romantic entanglements and hapless attempts at maturity were expanded by Truffaut in three subsequent films and one short, all of which are included in this season.
Truffaut’s death at the age of 52 in 1983 came after a fertile period that saw the release of one of his most internationally renowned films, The Last Metro (1980).