Friday, March 09, 2007

Revisit: L'Enfant Sauvage

A United Artists release 1970

Directed by
François Truffaut

Writing credits
François Truffaut
Jean Gruault
Jean Itard (scientific report)

Based on the true story of a child found alone in the wild and a doctor's attempts to educate him.

Truffaut's relatively accurate interpretation of the events surrounding Dr. Jean Itard's work with a wild child is as engaging as it is endearing. The film raises many interesting questions about the commonality of the human experience and man's primal nature, but mostly exists as a sincere effort to call attention to the works of Dr. Itard. The films only real drawback is Truffaut's acting, which is a bit wooden; the director claimed to have cast himself because he felt other actors weren't "utilizing the space he would offer", but as a performer, Truffaut is almost emotionless. Most of his character is laid out through voice-over, which can be a bore, but the film's brilliant cinematic construction (it was shot by Néstor Almendros, who was cinematographor for many of Rohmer's films, as well as Terrence Malick's Days of Heaven) keeps it interesting. It's also pretty short, which is always nice. Worth a look.

No comments: