Critics love to talk about modern auteurs in terms of their influences, and François Truffaut has never been an exception. For our release of The Soft Skin, out next week in Blu-ray and DVD editions, critic and filmmaker Kent Jones created a new video essay exploring Truffaut’s influences, from literary to cinematic. In this excerpt from the longer piece, Jones talks about three crucial figures for Truffaut: André Bazin, Jean Renoir, and, especially, Alfred Hitchcock. It was while working on The Soft Skin that Truffaut really began to obsess over Hitchcock’s films, and, as Jones explains, the French filmmaker would soon after be instrumental in Hitchcock’s starting to be taken seriously as an artist in America.
Career Women in the Land of Lubitsch
Critics Molly Haskell and Farran Smith Nehme talk about the highly idiosyncratic heroines who populate Ernst Lubitsch’s comedies, including the protagonist of his final film, Cluny Brown.
Ritwik Ghatak’s Pursuit of Truth Beyond Realism
Acclaimed Indian filmmakers Saeed Akhtar Mirza and Kumar Shahani discuss how the Bengali master mixed expressionism and naturalism in his devastating domestic tragedy The Cloud-Capped Star.
A Howl of Defiance from the Italian Sixties
Marco Bellocchio’s subversive debut feature, Fists in the Pocket, emerged out of a period of social unrest, taking aim at both bourgeois values and Catholic hypocrisy.