Silken Skin (PG)

Starring: Jean Desailly, Françoise Dorléac
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The Independent Culture

François Truffaut's fourth feature, first seen in 1964, kicks off a season of his films at the BFI.

Shot in black and white, this low-key study in adultery feels somewhat sluggish at the outset, before revealing its subtleties of tone and meaning. Jean Desailly plays a middling literary celebrity whose affair with a cool blonde air stewardess (Françoise Dorléac) engulfs him in a vortex of minor inconveniences and major self-deception. Truffaut admitted the film would present "an antipoetic idea of love" – almost a counterpoint to his previous Jules et Jim – but in its beady observation of an intellectual who doesn't know his own mind it fascinates, like watching a very slow car-crash.