La Nuit Américaine – Day for Night (1973)

La Nuit Américaine - Day for Night (1973)

Taglines: A movie for people who love movies.

Day for Night chronicles the production of Je Vous Présente Paméla (Meet Pamela, also referred to as I want you to meet Pamela), a clichéd melodrama starring aging screen icon Alexandre (Jean-Pierre Aumont), former diva Séverine (Valentina Cortese), young heart-throb Alphonse (Jean-Pierre Léaud) and a British actress, Julie Baker (Jacqueline Bisset) who is recovering from both a nervous breakdown and the controversy leading to her marriage with her much older doctor.

In between are several small vignettes chronicling the stories of the crew-members and the director; Ferrand (Truffaut himself) who tangles with the practical problems one deals with when making a movie. Behind the camera, the actors and crew go through several romances, affairs, break-ups, and sorrows. The production is especially shaken up when one of the secondary actresses is revealed to be pregnant. Later Alphonse’s fiancée leaves him for the film’s stuntman, which leads Alphonse into a palliative one-night stand with an accommodating Julie; whereupon, mistaking Julie’s pity sex for true love, the infantile Alphonse informs Julie’s husband of the affair. Finally, Alexandre dies on the way to hospital after a car accident.

Day for Night (French: La Nuit américaine) is a 1973 French film directed by François Truffaut. It stars Jacqueline Bisset and Jean-Pierre Léaud. It is named after the filmmaking process referred to in French as la nuit américaine (“American night”), whereby sequences filmed outdoors in daylight are shot using film stock balanced for tungsten (indoor) light and underexposed (or adjusted during post production) to appear as if they are taking place at night. In English the technique is called day for night, and the film’s title is thus translated as Day for Night.

La Nuit Américaine - Day for Night Movie Poster (1973)

La Nuit Américaine – Day for Night (1973)

Directed by: François Truffaut
Starring: Jacqueline Bisset, Jean-Pierre Léaud, François Truffaut, Valentina Cortese, Jean-Pierre Aumont, Nathalie Baye, Maurice Seveno
Screenplay by: François Truffaut, Jean-Louis Richard
Production Design by: Damien Lanfranchi
Cinematography by: Pierre-William Glenn
Film Editing by: Martine Barraqué, Yann Dedet
Costume Design by: Monique Dury
Art Direction by: Damien Lanfranchi
Music by: Georges Delerue
Distributed by: Columbia Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures
Release Date: May 24, 1973