THE PORNOGRAPHER (Bertrand Bonello, 2001)

Jacques Laurent, who elevated “the genre” (embarrassed, he himself winces at that categorization), is making his first pornographic film in more than fifteen years. Times and audiences have changed. On-set, Jacques’s young producer tells him he is “too old” when Jacques doesn’t even look up at the soullessly raunchy scene that is being shot. Jacques […]

BED AND BOARD (François Truffaut, 1970)

There are at least two opposite ways to consider the fourth film in François Truffaut’s semi-autobiographical Antoine Doinel cycle, Domicile conjugal. If we take one view, Antoine (once again, and necessarily, Jean-Pierre Léaud) disintegrates into a bourgeois groove of complacency that completes the undoing of the rambunctious personality he exhibited in his mid-teens in The […]

TWO ENGLISH GIRLS (François Truffaut, 1971)

Les deux anglaises et le continent, based on Henri-Pierre Roché’s autobiographical 1956 novel, is one of François Truffaut’s most melancholy and deeply affecting films. Bending to a producer’s demand, Truffaut mutilated this impressionistic turn-of-the-century masterpiece by diminishing the roles of the “deux anglaises”—a decision he regretted and reversed, restoring the film to fullness shortly before […]