Jacqueline Bisset in Day for Night

Exploring the world through film

The product of the movie industry is a story . . . told primarily in visual imagery and movement, and . . . dialogue. The movie shares the function of all storytelling, of all literature, of all theater: that of a comment on some phase of existence.
—Hortense Powdermaker (1950)*

A point of view can be a dangerous luxury when substituted for insight and understanding.
—Marshall McLuhan (1962)*

What Do Movies Say to You?

Movies on Chatham publishes monthly research articles and essays on movies, typically according to a theme sequence, earning reader support as an important source of insight and critical thought on what films communicate to their audiences.

For Group Discussion

In the fall of 2019, we watch and discuss movies that either dramatize or document activities that take place within a context of technology, and in particular, filmmaking technologies.

Our coming attraction is Day for Night (Truffaut, 1973), a French film, which we might call “Vignettes from Movie Sets.” François Truffaut plays Ferrand, the director of a movie titled Meet Pamela (has a nice ring to it?).

Léaud, Bisset, Truffaut
Léaud, Bisset, Truffaut

Ferrand obviously loves making the movie, but managing a million distracting details, he may not have a chance to use his directing skills.

What do you notice in this movie that may influence an audience about the nature of filmmaking? We’d love to hear from you as you watch it along with us this month.

Find us on Twitter: @moviesonchatham.

2019 Fall Schedule

Sep 12 Day for Night
France: Warner-Columbia Films
1973 Drama, 115 mins
Director: Francois Truffaut
Day for Night (1973) poster
Oct 10 The 400 Blows
France: Les Films du Carrosse
1959 Drama, 99 mins
Director: Francois Truffaut
400 blows
Nov 14 Finding Vivian Maier
2013 Documentary, 83 mins
Directors: Charlie Siskel & John Maloof
Finding Vivian Maier movie poster
Dec 12 Everlasting Moments
2008 Drama, 131 mins
Director: Jan Troell
Everlasting Moments movie poster


McLuhan, M. (1962). The Gutenberg galaxy: The making of typographic man. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Powdermaker, H. (1950). Hollywood, the dream factory: An anthropologist looks at the movie-makers (1st Ed.). Boston: Little, Brown.

Truffaut, F. (Director). (1973). Day for Night [Motion picture]. France: Warner-Columbia Film.

Located in Atlanta, Georgia, film capital of the South, Movies on Chatham provides monthly film critiques to a public audience.
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