Observations from Truffaut’s “La Nuit Americaine”

One of the first elements I noticed in Truffaut’s “La Nuit Americaine” was the abundance of the color red at different times in the film. There were various times where the color really dominated the shot, in an intentional yet subtle manner. The crane, red car, and smaller objects such as the jack all were a bright red, standing out in particular shots. The choice of red could represent themes of lust, passion, and love, as well as the breaking of relationships and the resulting anguish. Although it could be easily overlooked, I enjoyed this detail in the film.

A major theme that began to develop over the course of the film was the contrast between real life and film life, and specifically, which takes dominance in one’s life. There are many usable quotes during the course of the film that illustrate this. One such quote occurs when Alphonse is talking to Julie, “Life is more important than films. Ferrard is wrong.” Furthermore, the contrast between the life of actors and everyone else is apparent in the discussion of kissing being an actor’s equivalent of a handshake.

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