In 1976, actor Bob Balaban found himself working with two
of the most gifted filmmakers of the present day - the legendary
French director Francois Truffaut and Steven Spielberg - in
a movie that would go on to become a huge hit. The movie was
Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Balaban was
so impressed by the daily happenings on set that he decided
to keep a journal on the proceedings as they unfolded. Only
later did he realise that he had all the material for a book...
Truffaut & Me - An Actor's Diary is
an inspired piece of work. When this arrived in the office
I did something I swore I would never do - I took my work
home with me. I started reading and by the time I was ready
to go home I found I couldn't put this book down so I ended
up staying two hours late in the office. I then left, but
took the book with me and carried on reading until I finally
finished it in the early hours of the next morning.
writing is fluid and engaging and his numerous anecdotes about
being mistaken for Richard Dreyfuss are very funny. His bonding
with Truffaut is, in places, touching and following the events
that unfold through Balaban's eyes is almost like living the
events for yourself. The problems with the six-year-old skating
aliens, the hot and stuffy mother ship and the potentially
poisonous gasses Balaban was forced to constantly inhale in
the name of Hollywood make for a riveting read.
actor has also included a new chapter which looks back at
the original diary some 25 years after the movie was in production
(to coincide with the launch of the special edition DVD) but
this section pales in comparison to the rest of the book.
you were fairly young, as I was, when the movie was on general
release and you remember being blown away by the special effects
and the skinny alien at the end of the movie then this book
will take you back to your childhood.
can not recommend this book enough. Without a doubt the greatest
Sci-Fi story ever told by an actor.
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