Day For Night Movie Review
Day For Night is a simple tale populated by a complex cast of characters -- all actors and crew members working on a film being shot on the French Riviera. The film starts on the first day of shooting, ends on the last. Meanwhile, all manner of problems -- some funny, some serious -- plague the shoot, along with endless romantic entanglements.
To explain who's in love with whom, who's cheating on whom, and who can't remember her lines would take the better part of this page, and that would be beside the point anyway. Day For Night is about all the chaotic events -- for better or worse -- that happen along the way in the making of art. That in this case the art is a film about a woman who falls in love with her husband's father is irrelevant. François Truffaut even manages to inject himself into the film, appearing as the writer (who has to make changes to accomodate all the chaos).
The film doesn't really go into much more depth than this. It's a comedy, but unlike Robert Altman's very similar The Player, it doesn't look at moviemaking with much cynicism. (Though Truffaut was nearing the twilight of his career, he seems unjaded and hopelessly smitten with the filmmaking process... but he was French, not Los Angeleno.)
The new DVD adds a bunch of present-day interviews and retrospectives, but don't count on this material to add much to your enjoyment or understanding of the film. Author/professor Annette Insdorf emcees much of this, and I can never sit through her wide-eyed lectures. Personally, I found the archival footage, including a 1973 interview with Truffaut from Cannes, to be more compelling.
Aka La Nuit américaine.
Day for night, black and white.