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The Director's Idea by Ken Dancyger

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Chapter 15

François Truffaut: Celebrate the Child

Introduction

François Truffaut was unique among directors. He had many film heroes—Hitchcock, Hawks, and Renoir—but the one that he chose to emulate made few films. That hero was Jean Vigo, the man who made “Zero de Conduite” (1932). Vigo celebrated the spirit of children, and this is François Truffaut’s director’s idea. Truffaut did not consider childhood to be an ideal state; rather, he saw it more fully. Perhaps the best way to capture his view is to consider the world as either uncorrupted or corrupted. For Truffaut, childhood was an uncorrupted state, a state where the real person uncluttered by agendas resides. The child is good but also mischievous. The child is sexual as well as loving. ...

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