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Life Arts

An Appreciation of the Films The Wild Child, Starring Francois Truffaut, and Barry Lyndon, Starring Ryan O'Neil

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The first of these two remarkably good films -- The Wild Child -- came out in 1970, and the second -- Barry Lyndon -- came out in 1975.   The Wild Child starred Francois Truffaut and was in black and white, and the first time I saw it, it recalled for me the black and white films of Ingmar Bergman.  

Wild Child Movie Poster (1970), by Wikipedia

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The second of these two remarkably good films, Barry Lyndon, starred Ryan O'Neal and was in color, and the first time I saw it, I thought its director Stanley Kubrick had lost his mind.

Barry Lyndon Movie Poster (1975), by Wikipedia

The last time I saw the films, I appreciated their directorial art and their acting more, but I thought the film Nell (1994) starring Jodie Foster

Nell Movie Poster (1994), by Wikipedia

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should be seen and compared with The Wild Child (1970), whereas Tom Jones (1963) starring Albert Finney

Tom Jones Movie Poster (1963), by IMDB

should be seen and contrasted with Barry Lyndon (1975).


The Wild Child is set in France around 1800, and its photography recalls vividly the realism of the French painter Jean-Louis David (1748-1825).  

Madame Trudaine (1792), by Jacques-Louie David at Wiki

Indeed, it is my present understanding that Francois Truffaut intended the movie to capture the remarkable period of confluence in French painting and French natural science and mathematics around 1800.   And as far as I know the movie always has been unanimously considered one of Truffaut's masterpieces.

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If you create or love black-and-white photography, or are an admirer of the great French director Francois Truffaut, or greatly appreciate late 18th century French realist art, do not miss The Wild Child.   It was available from Netflix on 05.04.2011.


Barry Lyndon is set in Ireland and England from the 1750's and its photography recalls vividly the sometimes dark or misty late eighteenth century art exemplified by the works of Joseph Wright of Derby.

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I have a law degree (Stanford, 66') but have never practiced. Instead, from 1967 through 1977, I tried to contribute to the revolution in America. As unsuccessful as everyone else over that decade, in 1978 I went to work for the U.S. Forest (more...)

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