Rating (3.5 of 5)
Warning: Day for Night is a French movie, therefore you will have to read subtitles, but a movie well worth reading.
FilmStruck closes at the end of this month and Scott watches all he can before the site closes down. He selected Day for Night the other night and I am really glad he did. A fascinating and fun movie about making a movie and the people who make it.
Plot: Follows the cast and crew making a movie in France.
What I Liked: When watching an old classic film, we don’t think about what went into the movie. Day for Night movie shows the audience the chaos behind the scenes. The director and his team write lines the night before a shoot or create whole new scene because an actor died and the insurance company won’t cover a new actor. The glimpse behind the curtain was intriguing.
Truffaut masterfully balances the scenes showing the cast and crew and showing the making of the movie. We see the challenges of the cast and crew in their personal lives and this is handled when the filming starts. There were a dozen plus challenges they faced, with each challenge really entertaining me. The picture below demonstrates a scene where the cat needs to drink from the saucer but keeps running away.
At the end of the movie the cast and crew leave and the sincerity portrayed in the scene resonated with me. I haven’t worked on a movie set, but have worked on a few construction sites and the scene reminded me of those departures. You work for 3 or 6 months with a crew of people who become your friends, you say farewells and then you leave. You might run across people 2 or 3 years later on another job or might not. The movie captures this transient relationship well.
What I Didn’t Like: The director has some flashback/dreams to his childhood and was out of context with the rest of the movie. Truffaut was trying to portray some of his background that drove his love of movies but didn’t fit with the rest of the film.
The movie is about making a movie, similar to a Dazed and Confused, no specific hero or villain. No one character grows or learns anything of significance, so we don’t see a lot of character growth or development.
Conclusion: An entertaining enjoyable light hearted film about making a movie, a quality missing in many films today.