The context
Cinema saved my life
in François Truffaut
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François Truffaut's work invites biographical readings. This chapter provides a brief account of Truffaut's early life in post-war France. At the time of the Liberation in 1944 Truffaut was twelve-years old, a precociously literate and knowledgeable filmgoer, intellectually and emotionally committed to cinema, thus far primarily French cinema. The end of the Occupation left the French film industry divided, disorganised and lacking in resources. The work done by Cahiers du cinéma in the 1950s was central to the development of film theory and criticism not only in France but also in the USA, Britain and the rest of Europe. The Cahiers team were united in their Bazinian respect for a particular kind of realism, their enthusiasm for Hollywood genre films and their dislike of the kind of cinema that was dominant in France.

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