Two In A Wave, a French documentary that does not quite have the punch as the subject matter might suggest.
Emmanuel Laurent and scriptwriter Antoine de Baecque focus on two of
the most well-known filmmakers of French New Wave: François Truffaut (The 400 Blows) and Luc Godard (Breathless).
Not a deep insight into the new wave movement, the hook here, is the
delicious tale of the rise and eventual rivalry between the pair and
those it would affect, around them.
Amongst those is actor Jean-Pierre Léaud. We see the young, beautiful
boy arriving at Cannes shortly before his role in Truffaut’s 400 Blows
that would catapault him into the stardom, one of some fascinating
archive footage. As the documentary progresses, we see the actor, who
continued to act for both after the fallout, would eventually became a pawn between the two acrimonious filmmakers as if a child between two warring parents amidst divorce.
The love/hate relationship between the two filmmakers is legendary
that came to a head as a result of May 1968 protests, France’s largest
general strike, resulting in the economy coming to a virtual standstill.
Both directors demanded a
cancellation of the Cannes Film Festival. Whilst Truffant continued to
view art-for-art’s-sake, Godard soon announced that filmmaking’s ends
should always be political.
An elegant documentary but lacking in detail for non- Truffant and
Godard fans, despite the documentary being awashed with footage, film
clips and interviews. Best described as an overview of the period,
featured film clips remained unidentified and techniques were
unexplored. Diehard fans will be disappointed with no new insight but
the documentary certainly serves to introduce the two to a new
generation of film lovers.