Quentin Tarantino denounces François Truffaut: a “clumsy amateur”

Although Tarantino isn’t a fan of the French New Wave legend, he picked ‘The Story of Adele H’ as a Truffaut film he enjoyed.

Quentin Tarantino

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Say what you want about Quentin Tarantino, but he never backs down from a controversial take. The filmmaker has made a career out of his ability to elevate the exploitation films he loves to the rank of art, and has never hesitated to defend the cinema that inspired him. And his tendency to appreciate the lowbrow goes hand in hand with a willingness to criticize some of cinema’s most revered figures when he thinks the praise they receive is unwarranted.

Sight & Sound’s September issue features an interview with Tarantino and his “Video Archives Podcast” co-host, Roger Avary, and highlighted several notable excerpts from their podcast. As usual, Tarantino didn’t mince words when discussing his opinions on the film. By evoking the films of Claude Chabrol on an episode of the show, he found the time to criticize the work of François Truffaut, in particular the thrillers that the director made later in his career.

“[Chabrol’s] the thrillers are considerably better than the abyssal Truffaut-Hitchcock movies, which in my opinion are just awful,” Tarantino said. “I’m not that much of a Truffaut fan anyway. There are a few exceptions, the main one being “The Story of Adele H.” But for the most part, I feel for Truffaut what I feel for Ed Wood. I think he’s a very passionate and clumsy amateur.

This is not the first time that Tarantino has issued a critical opinion on Truffaut. He spends a lot of time in his novel “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” revealing Cliff Booth’s negative reaction to a screening of “The 400 Blows” and “Jules and Jim.” Although Tarantino argued that Booth’s cinematic views discussed in the novel do not necessarily reflect his own, he had no trouble offering criticisms of some of the author’s best-loved works.

“He tried Truffaut twice, but he didn’t answer him. Not because the movies were boring (they were), but that wasn’t the only reason Cliff didn’t respond. The first two films he saw (in a Truffaut feature double) just didn’t grab him. The first film, “Les 400 coups”, left him cold. He really didn’t understand why that little boy did half the shit he did,” Tarantino wrote in the novel. “And he thought the mopey dopes in ‘Jules and Jim’ were a fucking chore.”

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