Silken Skin

DVD Rating: ****

Reviewed by: David Stanners

Read David Stanners's film review of Silken Skin
Silken Skin

The extras are surprisingly detailed. All too often, old films are left on the scrap heap when it comes to anything more than chapter selections, but this is a treat.

First up is an introduction to the film, which features a selection of Truffaut's work, from Jules Et Jim to Fahrenheit 451. The inspiration behind La Peau Douce is also revealed: apparently years before Truffaut had seen a couple kissing in a taxi at 7.30pm. Married or unmarried, "it was a greedy kiss" and one which set the ball rolling in his imagination.

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Interestingly we learn that all the apartment scenes were shot inside Truffaut's flat. "I work from life," he says. "By life, I mean 20% autobiography, 20% newspaper stories, 20% friends' lives, and the remaining 40% fictional."

There are also insights into Hitchcock's stylistic influences over Truffaut, clearly evident in La Peau Douce.

Besides this, there is a Francois Truffaut Collection, introducing critic's choices to pictures ranging from The 400 Blows in 1959 to The Woman Next Door in 1981.

There is also a list of supplements, featuring the original trailer, a profile of Fran├žoise Dorleac with comment from Truffaut on her performance and personality, and Truffaut discussing selected scenes from the film. The scene-by-scene commentary is best for revealing the subtle nuances behind some finely crafted scenes between the two leads.

Finally, there is a commentary from screenwriter Jean-Louis Richard. This includes an interview, accounts of his experience working with Truffaut and the way in which his writing took on a visual role, in line with Truffaut's overall vision of the way the film should be put together.

There's plenty here on offer for enthusiasts of the Nouvelle Vague, as well as general viewers. However, as with lots of DVD extras, make sure you watch the film first, because it might spoil the ending for you.

Reviewed on: 30 Jan 2003
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Silken Skin packshot
A man begins an ill-fated affair with an air stewardess.
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Product Code: TVD3363

Region: 2

Ratio: anamorphic widescreen

Sound: Dolby Digital

Extras: Introduction to film; Audio Commentary by screenwriter; Chapter Selection; Francois Truffaut Collection Trailers; Francoise Dorleac Featurette; Francois Truffaut discussing selected scenes from film; Trailer.

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