L’Homme qui aimait les femmes [The Man Who Loved Women] can probably be categorized as another sort of biographical movie directed by François Truffaut. I state this due to the fact that the main character, Bertrand Morane (Charles Denner), is relentlessly and obsessively seeking out women. It looks very much like Truffaut’s own life that was spent in numerous relationships which included Catherine Deneuve, Jeanne Moreau and many others. It seems that through this film the director is trying to improve his own private life.
The opening scene is the funeral of Bertrand Morane. Only women, many women, are attending. The story of his life is presented in the film by a publisher, Geneviève Bigey, as Betrand had decided to write his memoirs after having been rejected by a woman. The Man Who Loved Women is difficult to be placed in one category. Although Truffaut had set out for a comedy, it eventually becomes too dark to be referred to this genre only. Filmed in colour, L’Homme qui aimait les femmes also includes black and white scenes which have the purpose of presenting in flashbacks Bertrand’s relationship with his mother. One of these sequences replicates a passage from Les 400 Coups with focus upon the boy’s mixed emotions in the presence of his uncaring mother. I won’t spoil the end of the movie nor the rest of it, but for those of you passionate about cinema and Truffaut’s work, this is a must see, “a feminist film, Truffaut style”, as the director himself said. It sounds intriguing, doesn’t it?
images: stills from “The Man Who Loved Women”, captured by Classiq; the movie was produced by Les Films du Carrosse