Re: RARA-AVIS: Coup de Torchon etc. and French films

Etienne Borgers (
Sun, 14 Nov 1999 23:20:03 -0800 (PST)

--- Juri Nummelin <> wrote:
> On Fri, 12 Nov 1999, Chris Bahn wrote:
> > Speaking of French versions of noir books,
> Truffaut's "Shoot the Piano
> > Player" is playing in Minneapolis next weekend. Is
> it worth a look?
> Very much so. It's one of the best new wave films,
> it's funny and there
> isn't much artiness. I liked it very much.
> Juri

Well, I do not want to look like being a systematic negative critic of French films, after my opinion on
'Coup de Torchon' by Tavernier, but I consider the same about "Tirez Sur le Pianiste" by Truffaut. As much I like Truffaut, how much I regret he took THAT book from Goodis'to make a film Noir. I do not find the intentions of the book in his film, which is more about to make something Truffaut-esque than to explore really the HB/Noir of Goodis. But if you did not read the book, then yes you may enjoy the film for what it is. And again I do not mean it's a lemon.

Adaptation of books to film is a very controversial subject and I consider that how "best" the book how more critical we have the right to be, when something is not of the same level in the film. Then just imagine when you see books you consider as top of tops being adapted... Also, I was not saying that Tavernier's film is a turkey, but just that it's not on par with Thompson's book that is the very best by this author.

In HB/Noir Cinema genre(policier), most of the time the *best* films are better than the books they adapt
(as these books are not always the top of the genre or best of the author). So, taking a *real top book* to film is a risky business, if the director or the producer does not see why this one is a gem (and we pre-suppose they both are very good in their film trade...). And I think we are right to say so when it happens.

The French New Wave, on the other hand produced far better real Noir movies than Truffeaust's- just think of Melville and Cavalier to start with.

E.Borgers Hard-boiled Mysteries
__________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Bid and sell for free at

# To unsubscribe, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to # To unsubscribe, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to
# The web pages for the list are at .

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0b3 on Mon 15 Nov 1999 - 02:20:27 EST