François Truffaut

(6 February 1932 – 21 October 1984)

François Truffaut
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François Roland Truffaut was an influential film director, screenwriter, producer, actor, and film critic, as well as one of the founders of the French New Wave. In a film career lasting over a quarter of a century, he remains an icon of the French film industry, having worked on over 25 films.

Early Life

Truffaut was born in Paris on 6 February 1932. His mother was Janine de Montferrand. His mother's future husband, Roland Truffaut, accepted him as an adopted son and gave him his surname. He was passed around to live with various nannies and his grandmother for a number of years. It was his grandmother who instilled in him her love of books and music. He lived with his... more »

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  • ''When humor can be made to alternate with melancholy, one has a success, but when the same things are funny and melancholic at the same time, it's just wonderful.''
    François Truffaut (1932-1984), French film director. letter, Jan. 15, 1980. Letters (1989, French edition, 1988).
  • ''I've always had the impression that real militants are like cleaning women, doing a thankless, daily but necessary job.''
    François Truffaut (1932-1984), French film director. Letter, May-June 1973, to director Jean-Luc Godard. Letters (1989).
  • ''All film directors, whether famous or obscure, regard themselves as misunderstood or underrated. Because of that, they all lie. They're obliged to overstate their own importance.''
    François Truffaut (1932-1984), French film director. letter, Jan. 8, 1981. Published in Letters (1988).
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