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From the time of their meeting in 1912, two men, Jules (Oskar Werner) and Jim (Henri Serre), share a close friendship. Shortly before the First World War, Jules marries Catherine (Jeanne Moreau), a wilful young women the two men have befriended, but, after the war has ended, his relationship with her deteriorates rapidly. When Jim comes to stay with the couple and their daughter, he begins a relationship of his own with Catherine, having been urged to do so by Jules, who hopes that if his wife is involved with his friend she will not leave him. Catherine's carefree behavior, however, soon creates further difficulties.
Jules and Jim is a 1962 French film directed by François Truffaut based on Henri-Pierre Roché's semi-autobiographical novel about his relationship with writer Franz Hessel and his wife, Helen Grund.
Truffaut came across the book in the mid-1950s whilst browsing through some secondhand books in Paris and later befriended the elderly Roché. The author approved of the young director's attempt to translate his work to another medium.
The soundtrack by Georges Delerue was named as one of the "10 best soundtracks" by Time magazine in its "All Time 100 Movies" list.
One of the seminal products of the French New Wave, Jules and Jim is an inventive encyclopedia of the language of cinema that incorporates newsreel footage, photographic stills, freeze frames, panning shots, wipes, masking, dolly shots, and voiceover narration (by Michel Subor). Truffaut's cinematographer was Raoul Coutard, a frequent collaborator with Jean-Luc Godard, who employed the latest lightweight cameras to create an extremely fluid film style. For example, some of the postwar scenes were shot using cameras mounted on bicycles. The evocative musical score is by Georges Delerue. One song, "Le Tourbillon" ("The Whirlwind"), which sums up the turbulence of the lives of the three main characters, became a popular hit. The dialogue is predominantly in French, with occasional lines in German and one line in English.
Jeanne Moreau incarnates the style of the Nouvelle Vague actress. The critic Ginette Vincindeau has defined this as, "beautiful, but in a kind of natural way; sexy, but intellectual at the same time, a kind of cerebral sexuality, — this was the hallmark of the nouvelle vague woman." Though she isn't in the film's title Catherine is "the structuring absence. She reconciles two completely opposed ideas of femininity".
Source : Wikipedia