I was milling around the 1980 New York Film Festival as a would-be wannabe. (Pant, pant.) At a French Embassy party I struck up a conversation with Catherine Deneuve that lasted about eight or nine seconds — she sized me up and moved on. I was determined to speak with the legendary Francois Truffaut (whose Montmartre grave I’ve since visited) so when I saw him at Alice Tully Hall I asked if he knew where mutual friend Annette Insdorf was at the moment. “Hotel Empire!,” he said. “Empire!”