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By Mark Cousins   October 2002

Fran?ois Truffaut, cinema’s poet of childhood, wrote criticism that boiled with hatred. He called the French director Claude Autant-Lara, “a butcher who insists on trying to make lace.” He wrote to Jean-Luc Godard: “you’re a shit on a pedestal.” We are so used to the idea that criticism is a fine thing, a dissection to reveal nuance, that it’s hard to see how hurling a brick through the movie screen can be other than blunt and embarrassing. Yet Truffaut’s critical essays and letters are among the glories of film prose.

I thought of Fran?ois Truffaut as I endured the new…

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