François Truffaut's Cinematic and Literary Influences

One could trace a long list of influences, both literary and cinematic, that made an important mark on Truffaut’s cinema. This afternoon of talks and discussions will focus on exploring how key figures impacted the auteur’s work. Join speakers to trace the influences of critic and theorist André Bazin, directors Jean Renoir and Alfred Hitchcock, among others.

Running order

  • 12:00 – Welcome to the event by Events Programmer Jelena Milosavljevic
  • 12:05 – Live presentation by Sonali Joshi, who will be talking about Truffaut’s male characters as literary heroes
  • 12:35 – Pre-recorded presentation by Marilyn Mallia looking at The Story of Adèle H in relation to the gothic tradition
  • 13:10 – Lunch
  • 14:00 – Pre-recorded presentation by Pasquale Iannone, who will consider the extent to which Truffaut was influenced by two of his filmmaking masters – Alfred Hitchcock and Roberto Rossellini
  • 14:20 – Live presentation by Catherine Wheatley, who will be talking about Truffaut’s relationship to André Bazin and Jean Renoir
  • 15:05 – Comfort break
  • 15:15 – Live discussion with Sonali Joshi and Catherine Wheatley, chaired by Ginette Vincendeau
  • 16:15 – Event ends


Sonali Joshi is a curator, writer, subtitler and translator. She founded Day for Night Film & Visual Arts in 2006, seeking to champion underrepresented areas of cinema through curatorial projects, distribution and access. She began her career in film exhibition at Cornerhouse (now HOME, Manchester), before moving into film distribution in Paris and then heading up the translation subtitling department of a former post-production house in London. Sonali holds a PhD in French Cinema Studies, the focus of which was actor Jean-Pierre Léaud.

Dr Marilyn Mallia is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of French at the University of Malta, where she teaches French literature, language and film. Her research focuses on gender politics in 19th-century French Gothic and Romantic literature, as well as on cinematic adaptations of the Gothic. Her doctoral thesis, which was awarded a prize by the George Sand Association, has been published in 2018 with Classiques Garnier, under the title: Présence du roman gothique anglais dans les premiers romans de George Sand. Her talk during the BFI event is based on an article which is due to be published in the journal French Screen Studies.

Catherine Wheatley is Reader in Film and Visual Culture at King’s College London. Her books include Stanley Cavell and Film: Scepticism and Self-Reliance at the Cinema, Michael Haneke’s Cinema: The Ethic of the Image, the BFI Film Classics book on Caché, and, with Lucy Mazdon, Sex, Art and Cinephilia: French Cinema in Britain. Catherine also writes regularly for Sight and Sound magazine.

Dr Pasquale Iannone is Lecturer in Film Studies at the University of Edinburgh. His research interests include European cinema (French and Italian in particular), film sound and film adaptation. He is also a critic and broadcaster, contributing to BBC Radio and Sight and Sound among other outlets. He is currently working on a book on Jean-Pierre Melville’s L’Armée des ombres.

Ginette Vincendeau is Professor of Film Studies at King’s College London and co-Chief General Editor of French Screen Studies. She has written widely on popular French cinema, notably stardom, as well as edited and contributed to several volumes on French and European film. Among her books are Pépé le Moko (BFI, 1998), Stars and Stardom in French Cinema (Continuum, 2000), Jean-Pierre Melville: An American in Paris (BFI, 2003), La Haine (I.B. Tauris, 2005), Brigitte Bardot (BFI/Palgrave-Macmillan, 2013) and Brigitte Bardot, The Life, The Legend, The Movies (Carlton and Gründ, 2014). She is currently completing a monograph on Claude Autant-Lara for Manchester University Press; her new, expanded edition of The French New Wave, Critical Landmarks (with Peter Graham) is forthcoming this year with Bloomsbury.

For the Love of People… The Films of François Truffaut
Mon 10 Jan 18:20
François Truffaut’s Cinematic and Literary Influences
Sat 29 Jan 12:00-16:30
Jules et Jim (Jules and Jim)
From Fri 4 Feb
Philosophical Screens: Jules et Jim
Thu 10 Feb 20:20
The Representation of Women in Truffaut’s Films
Fri 18 Feb 18:20

Antoine et Colette (from L’Amour à vingt ans) + Stolen Kisses (Baisers volés)
Sat 1 Jan 17:50, Tue 11 Jan 20:35, Sat 15 Jan 12:10, Sun 23 Jan 15:30
Bed and Board (Domicile conjugale)
Mon 3 Jan 13:00, Thu 13 Jan 20:45, Wed 19 Jan 14:30
Love on the Run (L’Amour en fuite)
Wed 5 Jan 20:40, Sat 15 Jan 15:30, Mon 31 Jan 20:40
The 400 Blows (Les Quatre cents coups)
From Fri 7 Jan

Une belle fille comme moi (A Gorgeous Kid like Me)
Sat 1 Jan 20:40, Tue 4 Jan 20:40, Sat 22 Jan 18:10
Day for Night (La Nuit américaine)
Sun 2 Jan 18:30, Fri 7 Jan 18:10, Sat 15 Jan 20:45, Tue 25 Jan 20:45
L’Enfant sauvage (The Wild Child) + Une histoire d’eau
Mon 3 Jan 18:10, Mon 10 Jan 20:40, Mon 24 Jan 18:10
The Last Metro (Le Dernier metro)
Sat 8 Jan 17:10, Fri 21 Jan 17:50, Sat 22 Jan 20:30, Wed 26 Jan 20:30
Pocket Money (L’Argent de poche)
Sat 8 Jan 20:55, Sat 29 Jan 18:00
The Man Who Loved Women (L’Homme qui aimait les femmes)
Sun 9 Jan 18:20, Mon 24 Jan 20:40
BFI Course: François Truffaut
Every Tue from 18 Jan-22 Feb 18:30-20:30

Anne and Muriel (Les Deux Anglaises et le continent)
Sat 5 Feb 12:20; Thu 17 Feb 17:50 (+ intro by actor Kika Markham); Tue 22 Feb 20:25
Fahrenheit 451
Sat 5 Feb 20:45; Sun 13 Feb 12:40; Sun 27 Feb 18:40
The Story of Adèle H (L’Histoire d’Adèle H)
Wed 9 Feb 20:55; Sat 12 Feb 20:45; Sat 19 Feb 18:20
The Green Room (La Chambre verte)
Thu 10 Feb 18:20; Tue 15 Feb 20:40; Wed 23 Feb 20:40

Shoot the Pianist (Tirez sur le pianiste)
Tue 1 Feb 20:50; Fri 11 Feb 18:30; Sat 26 Feb 13:20
The Bride Wore Black (La Mariée était en noir)
Fri 4 Feb 20:45; Sun 13 Feb 18:00; Sun 27 Feb 12:00
Finally Sunday! (Vivement dimanche!)
Sat 5 Feb 17:15; Sat 12 Feb 12:30; Sun 27 Feb 15:30
Mississippi Mermaid (La Sirène du Mississippi)
Sun 6 Feb 12:40; Fri 18 Feb 20:35; Wed 23 Feb 20:40; Fri 25 Feb 18:00
La Peau douce (Silken Skin)
Sun 6 Feb 18:20; Sat 12 Feb 17:20; Sat 26 Feb 15:30
The Woman Next Door (La Femme d’à côté)
Tue 8 Feb 20:30; Mon 21 Feb 18:10; Thu 24 Feb 20:30

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Programme notes and credits compiled by the BFI Documentation Unit
Notes may be edited or abridged
Questions/comments? Contact the Programme Notes team by email