Day For Night Blu Ray Review

Francois Truffaut film that has fallen under the radar and now finally gets a UK release worthy of its credits! A film is shooting in a French studio back lot. Je Vous Présente Paméla ( or Meet Pamela to anyone not a Francophile!) basically put it is a melodrama with pretence for something more. Its director is eager to make it on time and under budget but with a fresh touch. It stars screen icon Alexandre (Jean Pierre Aumont), a former diva Séverine (Valentina Cortese), the young heart-throb Alphonse (Jean Pierre Leaud) and a hot right now British actress, Julie Baker (Jacqueline Bisset). All four have their issues. One is emotionally immature, one is a struggling alcoholic and another is newly married to a prim and proper doctor.

Graham Greene stars in a cameo role. Francois Truffaut directs and stars. Its a behind the scenes film, it is a realism film with splashes of cinema licence. Day for Night is a film that was always an oddity in the filmography of its masterful director. He was always a film maker that made something worthwhile to examine or watch. Day For Night is an ambitious, funny, dark and layered to excess film. It has star quality and bite, which it never tries to pull away from. It has suffered under the hyperbole of anti Nouvelle Vague critics. It is also mistaken as only a melodrama like its subjects, subject.  I love it and had the pleasure of seeing it twice. One on the big screen in London and the other time on an Aussie DVD I purchased from India. It since then disappeared and has never really had the press it deserves. Finally the great Criterion make it available to see. It is well worth it.

To the disc (my top 5 points)

New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack – Well the 2K restoration compared to the DVD is exquisite. I am in love with the restored transfer. Glenn involvement must have been the connection which enable such a tender restoration. You see from the first seconds as the camera pans to the meeting and slap. Its stunning.

New visual essay by filmmaker: kogonada – Potent stuff. I find that its a discovery piece. Kogonada sees it from a fresher perspective. 

An essay by critic David Cairns – Cairns examines the piece from a distance but within the canon of Truffaut. Truffaut and his work is sometimes difficult to establish a foot hold. Cairns does that.

Television footage of Truffaut on the film’s set in 1972 – Like a time capsule but with a feeling for art. Worthy of starting with.

New interview with cinematographer Pierre-William Glenn – Zippy and instructional in what he wanted and what we experience with the restored piece.

  • New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • New visual essay by filmmaker: kogonada
  • New interview with cinematographer Pierre-William Glenn
  • New interview with film scholar Dudley Andrew
  • Documentary on the film from 2003, featuring film scholar Annette Insdorf
  • Archival interviews with director François Truffaut; editor Yann Dedet; and actors Jean-Pierre Aumont, Nathalie Baye, Jacqueline Bisset, Dani, and Bernard Menez
  • Television footage of Truffaut on the film’s set in 1972
  • Trailer
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by critic David Cairns

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