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Critics reviews
The Bride Wore Black
François Truffaut France, 1968
As a film, The Bride Wore Black is a beautiful, macabre art object that’s slightly dead inside, a thematically neat battle-of-the-sexes thriller that plays as a fusion of Jules and Jim and Vertigo. But it’s a fascinating starting point for discussions of Truffaut and Hitchcock, and of the affinity of sensibility that might have enabled them to create their book-length interview from 1967.
January 25, 2015
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Truffaut, working with cinematographer Raoul Coutard, paints in a muted palette of browns and blacks, framing Moreau’s seductive visage in coolly detached compositions emphasizing space and movement over psychology. Though not well received upon release, the film has since proven influential on a variety of revenge narratives, as well as marking one of the rapidly maturing Truffaut’s last truly trenchant works.
December 17, 2014
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THE BRIDE WORE BLACK checks its emotions at the door, resulting in an episodic study in retribution that is admittedly low on both empathy and catharsis. But even Truffaut at his most somber is still high on style, and the escalation from segment to segment provides plenty of notes to marvel at, each meditation on murder skirting the fascinating line between delirious and haphazard.
October 12, 2012
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Jeanne Moreau stalks gracefully through the film, wooing and dispatching a series of men like an avenging angel whose motivating obsession is spelled out only gradually; among her prey are Claude Rich, Jean-Claude Brialy, Michel Bouquet, Michel Lonsdale, and Charles Denner. Basically an exercice de style, and a good one at that.
May 01, 1991
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Whereas Renoir proudly sacrifices form (and art) for truth, Hitchcock salvages truth from an art that rigorously obeys the rules of the game. Truffaut breaks the rules of the genre without abandoning the genre, and thus teeters precariously between Hitchcock and Renoir without committing himself entirely to either… Still, The Bride Wore Black is a film of undeniable if Uncertain beauty by virtue of its director’s critical intelligence in an era of mindless lyricism.
August 15, 1968
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