Day for Night

La nuit américaine
1973, 116 min., color, Blu-ray projection source, new restoration


Friday, Mar. 24 at 7:30pm

This affectionate farce from François Truffaut about the joys and strife of moviemaking is one of his most beloved films. Truffaut himself appears as the harried director of a frivolous melodrama, the shooting of which is plagued by the whims of a neurotic actor (Jean-Pierre Léaud), an aging but still forceful Italian diva (Valentina Cortese), and a British ingenue haunted by personal scandal (Jacqueline Bisset). Both an irreverent paean to the prosaic craft of cinema and a delightful human comedy about the pitfalls of sex and romance, “Day for Night” is buoyed by robust performances and a sparkling score by the legendary Georges Delerue.

Describing “Day for Night” as “a hilarious and informative movie,” Time Out asserts that “in the pantheon of films about filmmaking, it strikes a neat balance between the operatic neuroses of ‘8 1/2’ and the warm, pastel-hued nostalgia of ‘Singin’ in the Rain.’” Philip French in the Guardian writes: “Set in Nice's Victorine Studios, where it was filmed, ‘Day for Night’ is a touching, funny and accurate account of the travails (accidents, disputes, affairs, imbroglios, death) involved in the making of an all-star international picture called ‘Je vous présente Paméla.’ It is a Pirandellian affair, an elegiac celebration of a dying kind of cinema, a meditation on the connection between film and life by Truffaut, who plays Ferrand, the film's constantly troubled yet dedicated director, a man much like himself. Ferrand compares the process of filmmaking to ‘a stagecoach journey into the far west. At the start you hope for a beautiful trip. But shortly you wonder if you will make it at all.’”


François Truffaut
With an introduction and post-film discussion by Renée Hirshfield, adjunct professor of film studies at Southwestern Illinois College.

Sponsored by

Jane M. & Bruce P. Robert Charitable Foundation