François Truffaut

"I have always preferred the reflection of the life to life itself"

François Truffaut 

Despite starting his professional life as a self-taught, firebrand critic, François Truffaut became perhaps the gentlest of the major directors of the French New Wave. He made some of the movement’s best-loved classics, from Jules et Jim to Day for Night. While the technical confidence and innovation struck audiences at the time, central to his films was always a tender, quiet appreciation for emotion and character, particularly (and perhaps unusually for his macho milieu) in his female protagonists. 

His seminal 1959 debut feature The 400 Blows is credited with kick-starting the French New Wave, and accordingly, Truffaut's reputation is formidable. 

Here's our guide to ten of Truffaut's best.

And here's Mike Leigh on The 400 Blows.

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