Two in the Wave is the story of a friendship. Jean-Luc Godard was born in 1930; Francois Truffaut two years later. Love of movies brings them together. They write in the same magazines, Cahiers du Cinema and Arts. When the younger of the two becomes a filmmaker with "The 400 Blows", which triumphs in Cannes in 1959, he helps his older friend shift to directing, offering him a screenplay which already has a title, A bout de souffle, or Breathless. Through the 1960s the two loyally support each other. History and politics separate them in 1968, when Godard plunges into radical politics but Truffaut continues his career as before. Between the two of them, the actor Jean-Pierre Leaud is torn like a child caught between two separated and warring parents. Their friendship and their break-up embody the story of French cinema.Written by
"In troubled periods," writes François Truffaut, "the artist hesitates; he is tempted to abandon his art and to make his art subservient to an idea. Through film he becomes a propagandist. When this thought occurs to me I think of Matisse. He lived through three wars untouched. He was too young for 1870, too old for the war of 1914, a patriarch in 1940. He died in 1954 between the wars in Indochina and Algeria, having completed his life's work, his fish, women, flowers, landscapes framed by ...
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A 6 out of 10 is generous. The salvation of this documentary depends on what type of viewer you are. If you are a young high school kid and you want to get to know a little about Godard and Truffaut, then good. If you are a cinephile then you just love having a documentary about Godard and Truffaut to consume. But the film picks and chooses certain details of particular stories which is annoying to say the least. Probably the most infuriating part of the documentary is the refusal of the documentarian (or anybody) to have a hard-line opinion on anything, either man: their work, their beliefs, their opinions pertaining to the art form and in life, or the way they acted in certain situations, except some easy, sweeping generalities that are anything but revealing. Worth the watch, certainly, but in the end Two in the Wave is a lot of surface and not very much depth for two men and one behemoth of a movement that was as deep as anybody may ever know.
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