French director François Truffaut began to assiduously go to the movies at age seven. He was also a great reader but not a good pupil. He left school at 14 and started working. In 1947, aged 15, he founded a film club and met André Bazin, a French critic, who became his protector. Bazin helped the delinquent Truffaut and also when he was put in jail because he deserted the army. In 1953 Truffaut published his first movie critiques in “Les Cahiers du Cinema.” In this magazine Truffaut, and some of his friends as passionate as he was, became defenders of what they call the “author policy”. In 1954, as a test, Truffaut directed his first short film. Two years afterwords he assisted Roberto Rossellini with some later abandoned projects.
The year 1957 was an important one for him: he married Madeleine Morgenstern, the daughter of an important film distributor, and founded his own production company, Les Films du Carrosse; named after Jean Renoir’s The Golden Coach (1952). He also directed Les mistons (1957), considered the real first step of his cinematographic work. His other big year was 1959: the huge success of his first full-length film, The 400 Blows (1959), was the beginning of the New Wave, a new way of making movies in France. This was also the year his first daughter, Laura Truffaut, was born.
From 1959 until his death, François Truffaut’s life and films are mixed up. Let’s only note he had two other daughters Eva Truffaut (b. 1961) and Josephine (b. 1982, with French actress Fanny Ardant). Truffaut was the most popular and successful French film director ever. His main themes were passion, women, childhood and faithfulness.
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