Morris Engel-Ruth Orkin, the forgotten duo that inspired François Truffaut

The American couple made in 1953 The Little Fugitive , big brother of Antoine Doinel. Their filmography is to be rediscovered urgently in a box set.

At least things are clear. “Our New Wave would never have happened if Morris Engel hadn’t shown us the way to independent production with his beautiful film.” François Truffaut evoked The Little Fugitive that Engel produced in 1953 with his photographer partner Ruth Orkin in charge of the editing. It is a jewel in black and white. A 7-year-old kid who thinks he has killed his brother runs away for forty-eight hours. Farewell Brooklyn, direction Coney Island. Joey, with his stained T-shirt and plastic colt waistband, gets lost in the crowd at the fun fair. He takes the metro on his own, shoots a rifle, rides on wooden horses, eats a hot dog, poses for a photographer. He buys himself a cotton candy, bites into a slice of watermelon and spits out the seeds bigger than himself, plays with a baseball bat.

It is an enchanted parenthesis, of stolen happiness on a daily basis. What a joy to wince in front of the distorting mirrors, to drink pepsi

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