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Jules and Jim 

Francois Truffaut

Published August 25, 2005.Jules and Jim Directed by: Francois Truffaut (Criterion)Francois Truffaut wrote one of the key manifestos on which the Auteur Theory was born. When the former film critic for Cahiers du cinema put some of his theories into effect on Jules and Jim (1962), the result was an integral work of the French New Wave, the hardest of the major European film movements to define because it rejects definition. That’s why it’s interesting that Jules and Jim competes with the more conventional, lovable The 400 Blows as Truffaut’s most essential film. It may be the most French movie France has ever produced. Truffaut centres his film on best friends Jules (Oskar Werner) and Jim (Henri Serre) and the love triangle that begins when they meet Catherine (Jeanne Moreau). The friendship between them lasts for decades, as they goof off on Paris streets, contemplate sex, live through WWI and go on a countryside retreat. The breathless pacing never misses a beat. The two-disc Criterion DVD brings this classic home with a razor sharp, clean picture and generous supplements.—Mark Palermo

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Vol 26, No 28
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