Scottish Film Events: January 2022

Filmhouse kicks off the new year with a huge François Truffaut season while we pray to the movie gods that cinemas stay open so we can catch the likes of Licorice Pizza and Parallel Mothers on the big screen

Article by Jamie Dunn | 05 Jan 2022
  • Les 400 coups

Who is the greatest of the French New Wave directors? It’s a debate that’s raged between film school nerds for decades. If you were one of the polo neck-wearing pseuds who rolled your own cigarettes, you likely gravitated to the too-cool-for-school antics of Jean-Luc Godard. The romantics perhaps favoured the work of Éric Rohmer and Jacques Demy. Those with more adventurous tastes preferred the esoteric puzzles of Alain Resnais and Jacques Rivette. If you were of a playful and humanist vein, you likely dug Agnès Varda and Chris Marker, while those who were hung up on Hitchcock surely couldn’t see past his darker Gallic cousin, Claude Chabrol. But despite our differences, we could all agree on one thing: François Truffaut was great.

Film fans in Edinburgh have plenty of opportunities to come to this opinion as Filmhouse kicks off the new year with a huge Truffaut season. Rather than running chronologically, the retrospective takes a thematic approach, compartmentalising Truffaut’s rich and varied back catalogue into four distinct piles.

The first to screen at Filmhouse will be Truffaut’s five Antoine Doinel films, which follow the filmmaker's alter-ego over 20 years, from his early teens to his mid-30s, each time played by the great Jean-Pierre Léaud as he ages with the character. The season begins 14 January with masterpiece The 400 Blows, but be sure to make time for those lesser-screened Doinel films, particularly the unsung gems Stolen Kisses and the short Antoine and Colette, which play as a double-bill on 14 and 20 January.

The second strand features the Truffaut films heavily indebted to Jean Renoir, such as the self-referential Day for Night, which stars Truffaut as a director trying to wrangle a chaotic film shoot, and the delightful Pocket Money (aka Small Change), his seriocomic look at the lives of a group of children growing up in a provincial town (both screen from 22 Jan). Later strands will consider Truffaut’s literary adaptations (eg. Jules and Jim, Fahrenheit 451) and his work most clearly influenced by Hitchcock (eg. Shoot the Piano Player, Mississippi Mermaid).

There are plenty of other brilliant films coming out on general release that we’re extremely excited about: Paul Thomas Anderson’s coming of age film Licorice Pizza (out now), Andrea Arnold's bovine documentary Cow (14 Jan), Kenneth Branagh’s sentimental Oscar hopeful Belfast (21 Jan), Pedro Almodovar’s sumptuous melodrama Parallel Mothers (28 Jan – GFT have a preview on 18 Jan) to name a few. Let’s just pray to the movie gods that we get the opportunity to see them on the big screen...