We first saw Vivement Dimanche, the great François Truffaut’s very last film, in 1983, in the Roman theatre in Fiesole (which is transformed into an outdoors cinema in the summer months) and loved it. The film is quirky (filmed in black and white) but we remembered it as an ordinary crime thriller with an occasional comic twist. A small town estate agent, Julian Vercel (played with brilliant deadpan by Jean-Louis Trintignant), has just sacked his secretary, Barbara Becker (played just as brilliantly by the handsome Fanny Ardant), for impertinence when he becomes the prime suspect in a series of murders and has to hide, leaving Becker, who secretly loves him, to launch her inquiries – in parallel to the police inquiries, bien naturellement. At one level, this is Agatha Christie/Georges Simenon territory, with obvious motives undermined by subsequent events and, of course, the murderer is never, ever who you think it is. It reminded me of John Huston’s penultimate film, Prizzi’s Honour. The feel-good factor is high and for good measure Truffaut eggs his pudding with some slapstick; for example, the real culprit (impishly played by Philippe Laudenbach) is so distracted by his impending doom that he ends up smoking two cigarettes at once. But then the real motive is revealed – almost as an aside – and undermines the whole cosy, heterosexual consensus that the film has so far cheerfully portrayed. It was just by coincidence that we watched Vivement Dimanche the day after The Tenant, but these films explore the same fragile territory via different genres. For both Polanski’s tenant and Truffaut’s lawyer (Laudenbach) are cross-dressing paranoids whose comfort comes from pretending to be what they are not and cannot be. Maybe, just maybe, Polanski and Truffaut were genuflecting, in their different ways, before Hitchcock’s Psycho?