|Catherine doing her best male impersonation in a race with Jules and Jim.|
|The captivating Jeanne Moreau as Catherine|
|Director Francois Truffaut (to the left) with Raoul Coutard (cinematographer) and Claude Beausoleil (camera operator)|
Below is an example of Truffaut's ability to make a small scene monumental. Catherine dresses as a boy and calls herself Thomas while challenging Jules and Jim to a race on a bridge.
In the tradition of The French New Wave, spontaneity was chosen instead of choreographed shots or rehearsed acting. While a script was adhered to, the actions of the actors were not blocked out. Truffaut instead allowed the actors to choose their choreography in the moment and then followed their lead with the camera. Adding to this, Truffaut used only real locations and natural lighting. All of which created an immediacy and sense of natural ease, complimenting the fast paced story.
Jules and Jim began as a debut novel by Henri-Pierre Roche written when he was seventy-four. Truffaut was a twenty-three year old film critic when he fell in love with it. The beauty of youth and experience co-mingle so flawlessly, there has not been another film like it since. This is a box of magic that once opened, cannot be put down.
FOR FURTHER READING:
Roger Ebert's Review
New York Sun review by Steve Dollar