The groundbreaking 1953 independent film Little Fugitive was shot using a 35mm camera that photographer-filmmaker Morris Engel could wear around his neck. “Our New Wave would never have come into being if it hadn't been for the young American Morris Engel, who showed us the way to independent production with his fine movie,” wrote François Truffaut. “Please could I have your camera,” wrote Jean-Luc Godard. Or words to that effect, in this letter (of unknown date) provided by the Morris Engel Archive:

(click to enlarge)

J-L Godard
13 rue Nicolo
Paris 16e

Dear Morris Engel,

I am very much sorry for not having written to you sooner. Unfortunately, I have been kept busy by the editing of my last movie; and I won’t be able to come to N-York to discuss with you for the camera before two or three months. So I am sending to you Raoul Coutard, my operator, who will, if you agree, just have a look on your camera from his technical point of you. After what, I shall keep in touch wich you to come to an agreement together about that camera.

About Weddings and babies, I have spoken to Pierre Braunberger of Les films de la Pleiade. I think he is the only one to be interested by that sort of film because producing quite the same ones. I shall write you next week. My best regards and good luck

Jean-Luc Godard