Running for a week in a new print at Film Forum, The Bride Wore Black appeared shortly after the publication of Truffaut’s book-length interview with Alfred Hitchcock and was understandably taken as a new wave director’s homage to an old master—a then-novel thought. In some senses it is that—a dryly comic thriller with a rapturously foreboding Bernard Herrmann score that seems designed to implicate the spectator in on-screen murder. But for all of Truffaut’s digressive asides, deadpan gags, and lyrical cinephiliac touches, his slow-starting movie is overly schematic, emotionally shallow, and not so much fun.


Sometimes a Great Notion
Directed by Paul Newman
Universal Pictures
November 4 through 10, BAM

The Bride Wore Black
Directed by François Truffaut
Film Desk
November 4 through 10, Film Forum

Rather than laboriously walk us through five killings, Hitchcock might have briskly dispatched the first few victims, the better to lavish more attention on the bride’s most smitten target: Charles Denner’s obnoxiously self-regarding artist, who insists on painting the bride as Diana the Huntress, thus allowing Truffaut to suggest that she is a virgin. Their perverse love scenes are Moreau’s best. For the rest of the movie, she basically functions as po-faced straight-woman to a bunch of clowns, adding a touch of gravitas to Truffaut’s sluggishly contrived satire on male vanity.

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