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DAY FOR NIGHT (1973)

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Often hailed as one of the greatest movies about the movies, François Truffaut’s elegant dramedy follows half a dozen stories that develop during the location shoot for a film about an American girl falling for her husband’s father. There is the aging actress who can’t remember her lines; the young male lead (Jean-Pierre Leaud) who can’t find love and almost destroys the leading lady’s (Jacqueline Bisset) marriage when she tries to comfort him; and the father figure (Jean-Pierre Aumont) who is coming to grips with his homosexuality after years of living a lie. Through it all, their director (Truffaut) tries to maintain control as he deals with the cast and crew’s personal issues and even a cat that refuses to take direction. You don’t have to be a film buff to enjoy the picture, but it helps if you can catch the sly references to other movies like Truffaut’s The Soft Skin (1964) and Two English Girls (1971). This was one of the first pictures to depict a film crew as a family, influencing later movies like Ed Wood (1994) and Boogie Nights (1997). It won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, and Best Film awards from the BAFTAs, the New York Film Critics and the National Society of Film Critics. (d. François Truffaut, 116m, DCP)

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