François Truffaut, Original Auteur

Who better to explain what an auteur of the cinema is than one of the originators of auteur theory? In his famous 1954 essay “A Certain Tendency in French Cinema,” published in Cahiers du cinéma five years before the release of his first feature, François Truffaut proposed the revolutionary notion that the director is the true author of a given film, an idea that has thoroughly permeated film culture by this point. Today, to mark what would have been Truffaut’s eighty-second birthday, we’re posting the following clip of the filmmaker describing auteur theory to New York Film Festival director Richard Roud in October 1977, from a conversation that aired on the New York arts program Camera Three and represented Truffaut’s first appearance on American television. More of the interview can be found on our special edition of Jules and Jim.

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