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Two In The Wave

Two In The Wave

By Patrick Samuel • May 20th, 2013
Static Mass Rating: 5/5
New Wave Films

Release date: April 11th 2011
Running time: 93 minutes
Certificate (UK): U

Director: Emmanuel Laurent
Langauge: French with English subtitles

Featured in archive footage: Jean-Luc Godard, Francois Truffaut, Jean-Pierre Léaud

Two In The Wave

Much has been said and written about the friendship between Jean-Luc Godard and Francois Truffaut, the two leading filmmakers of the French New Wave in the 1950s and ’60s. But now we get a chance to see and hear about how deep that friendship ran and how much the destruction of it hurt them. Using archive footage, clippings, interviews and letters, documentary filmmaker Emmanuel Laurent, with biographer and historian Antoine de Baecque pieced together the story of how these two cinephiles went from critiquing the films in the magazine Cahiers du cinema to making them.

Truffaut’s films such as The 400 Blows (1959) and Jules and Jim (1962), along with Godard’s Breathless (1960) and My Life to Live (1962) told stories of everyday life and their characters spoke the language of everyday people. Their films reflected the times they lived in and resonated with audiences who were looking for something sincere in movies to contrast with the post-war musicals and romances Hollywood was churning out. The “concept of the auteur” was born with filmmakers like Truffaut and Godard; where a film would be the director’s own philosophy and vision.

Theirs was a friendship rooted in admiration, respect and a shared love with cinema and their films would comment on each other’s work. That was until their great falling out over politics in the aftermath of the May 1968 strikes in France.

Narrated by de Baecque, we’re invited to explore the early years of Truffaut and Godard before their time at Cahiers du cinema, learning about how their passion for cinema developed and how they met. From there it takes us to their great years together before arriving at that bitter break-up with actor Jean-Pierre Léaud caught in the middle, like a child between warring parents. They would remain enemies until Truffaut’s death in 1984.

Two In The Wave

Godard continues to make films, but he’s never been the same without Truffaut. In an extract from an interview shown, he talks about Truffaut no longer being there to protect him, leaving us to reflect on this for a few seconds in silence when asked why.

Two In The Wave is unlike most documentaries I’ve come across in that it concentrates solely on the time it’s devoted to. It doesn’t feature interviews with anyone looking back on the past, so there are no studio interviews with movie posters in the background; instead we have actress and filmmaker Isild Le Besco as a silent host guiding us as she moves through the archives. We see footage, interviews, letters and clippings from that time only, keeping a tight focus on the story it’s telling. Although the documentary is subtitled in English, it helps if you can speak a little French so that you might not miss any of the great archive material while reading.

Challenging, engaging, in-depth and wonderfully assembled, Two In The Wave is a must-see documentary for anyone who is looking to learn more about the French New Wave and two of the filmmakers who shaped it.

Read our » exclusive interview with director Emmanuel Laurent.

Patrick Samuel

Patrick Samuel

The founder of Static Mass Emporium and one of its Editors in Chief is an emerging artist with a philosophy degree, working primarily with pastels and graphite pencils, but he also enjoys experimenting with water colours, acrylics, glass and oil paints.

Being on the autistic spectrum with Asperger’s Syndrome, he is stimulated by bold, contrasting colours, intricate details, multiple textures, and varying shades of light and dark. Patrick's work extends to sound and video, and when not drawing or painting, he can be found working on projects he shares online with his followers.

Patrick returned to drawing and painting after a prolonged break in December 2016 as part of his daily art therapy, and is now making the transition to being a full-time artist. As a spokesperson for autism awareness, he also gives talks and presentations on the benefits of creative therapy.

Static Mass is where he lives his passion for film and writing about it. A fan of film classics, documentaries and science fiction, Patrick prefers films with an impeccable way of storytelling that reflect on the human condition.

Patrick Samuel ¦ Asperger Artist

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