The greatest films of all time as voted on by the Criterion subreddit using a ranked top 10 methodology from…
The 400 Blows
Angel faces hell-bent for violence.
Intensely touching story of a misunderstood young adolescent who delves into a life of petty crime.
How do you explain what it's like to lose yourself in a film? The 400 Blows describes it particularly well. Francois Truffaut was an expert cinephile, after all: sneaking into theaters via washroom windows, gravitating closer and closer toward the screen so that for a few hours his world was only moving images shedding diffused light on hundreds of faces turned up to the screen.
But perhaps Truffaut wasn't intent on forgetting the rest of the world when he started sitting so close to the screen; perhaps he was simply dealing with weakening eyesight. That would be quite like him and his work, anyway: mundane realities finding their way into cinema in a manner that renders them achingly poetic.
François Truffaut's feature film debut is an intensely touching portrait of our adolescent years which beautifully captures the day-to-day activities we spent doing for hours despite it being deemed useless by our parents & teachers, the classes we bunked to go for movies or play, the teachers we loved to hate and the many times we were 'disciplined' for the smallest of things.
The 400 Blows is my first stint with this director's works & the elegant manner in which he has unfolded this story before our eyes is sheer poetry. Set in early 1950s Paris, the film is an expertly crafted character study of a young adolescent who's often misunderstood by his peers &, after being left with no attention, delves…
I've been hemming and hawing over this film all day. Having only seen Fahrenheit 451, I hesitate to comment on Truffaut's work. It's as if I were to say about Hitchcock's Rear Window, "Hey, have you noticed that everything is through that nosy Jeff's point of view?" It's laughable. I mean books have been written on 400 Blows and now I get to say something new? :)
So, here's my idea. If all of you Truffaut connoisseurs don't mind, I'm going to go over here and talk to my imaginary friend. You know, the one who knows as little as I do. And then I'll come back and mingle... (much less embarrassing this way)
Hey Jack, do you remember when…
Review In A Nutshell:
So far I have seen only two French New Wave films, and both of them were from Francois Truffaut. The first I have seen was Jules and Jim, which I felt was a bit of a disappointment due to its lack of empathetic characters and lack of drama. The second would be The 400 Blows. I came into this film not knowing how I would feel as my feelings towards the director's works have been like a see-saw, and the hype for this was large but I tried my best not…
Part of Lise and Jonnie’s What A Wonderful World: May 30 days, 30 countries.
I came out of this morning’s screening of The 400 Blows rather cold and unaffected. It’s not that I didn’t like it or appreciate its style; it’s just that I didn’t have any feeling for Antoine. A few hours have passed now, and I think that may be exactly what Truffaut wanted me to feel, or not feel.
The young Jean-Pierre Leaud gave a brilliant, unaffected, performance. His character never asked for sympathy. When he was recounting his childhood to the psychologist near the end of the film, his delivery was very matter of fact. Absence of malice. At the beginning of the film we…
Day #8 in my It's a Large World After All Challenge (AKA 30 Days, 30 Countries). Country: France
"Your parents say you're always lying."
"Oh, I lie now and then, I suppose. Sometimes I'd tell them the truth and they still wouldn't believe me, so I prefer to lie."
The 400 Blows is my second glimpse into the French New Wave, and is a much more compelling film for the genre for me than Breathless, the film I had seen prior. Through the incredibly compelling character of Antoine Doiniel, The 400 Blows paints an accurate and powerful picture of adolescence, a coming of age movie and an…
I want to like this movie more than I did. On the one hand, I think the storytelling is very well done. The pacing is kind of slow at times, but it works, because that's how life is. On top of the story, I think the editing and camerawork are really good. With all that said, though, I just didn't connect with the film on a personal level. It's a relatable story about an interesting kid with questionable circumstances, but I honestly never got really invested in it. I do think this deserves a rewatch, but probably not anytime soon.
the scene when antoine runs along the country road, away from boarding school, towards the sea, is the epitome of 400 blows. all he wanted to do was to quit school, earn an honest living on his own, experience freedom and get to see the ocean. when the adult world around him, too caught up in their own struggles, denies him almost everything, the only thing left for him was the ocean.
as 400 blows is a testament of truffauts own youth, i want to imagine that the ocean meant for antoine what movies meant to truffaut. a new world he could immense himself into.
Masterfully shot, I absolutely loved this film. Possibly one of the best coming of age tales ever known.
Absolutely loved the end scene.
"Sometimes I'd tell them the truth and they still wouldn't believe me, so I prefer to lie."
As I've been a devoted fan of Wes Anderson's work since seeing Rushmore in the theater back in '99, just getting around to watching this now may seem criminally overdue. Right away, one can see just how influential--thematically, stylistically, technically--Truffaut's film is on much of Anderson's work; in particular, Bottle Rocket, Rushmore and Moonrise Kingdom. Dignan, Max Fischer and Sam Shakusky all seem reincarnations of Truffaut's Antoine Doinel. They're spiritually linked, feeling held back from growing up by the grownups that oppress them--in Sam's case afflicted with parents at least as pathetically self-centered as Antoine's. These kids all feel the need to break…
Interesting debut for both Jean-Pierre Léaud & François Truffaud.
If 'The Breakfast Club' was an arthouse film!
François Truffaut's vision of childhood theft drawn strongly from his own experience is a captivating story with much entertainment. Antoine is a young boy who unintentionally wound himself up into too much trouble for the likes of his parents and his teachers. Up there with some of John Hughes classics, 'The 400 Blows' is another special film of mine that is close to my heart when it comes to school. The visual aspect of the film is perfect, executing the right jokes and emphasises smoothly. The first half does strap you in for a lighter tone but smoothly shifts at the midpoint, mixing a blend of drama and childhood nonsense. The performances by the young boys are amazing and François Truffaut does a brilliant job at maintaining a theme of adulthood and independence through his direction of the young boys.
A powerful blow!
What an amazing film. It really shows how what we do really affects those around us, especially children. We don't take responsibility for our actions, but we expect children to.
A touching, Dickensian portrayal of childhood. Little touches of detail throughout serve to elevate an utterly poetic ending.
Good lord! I may have found a French New Wave film I actually enjoyed (staggers back from the flatscreen in astonishment).
Its hard to say why this film registered with me, perhaps its to do with the online university unit I'm doing on Children's Literature, which as a genre often focuses on the episodic and minute details of childhood as this film does. Perhaps its my current need to spread my wings, explore life and throw caution to the wind as our young protagonist Antoine often does here so rashly.
Its odd that such an unthinking, amoral kid and his equally dubious friends should suddenly register with me, but it did and my attention was sustained by the many beautiful…
Recently I was contemplating making a list of my favorite scenes in film, but I decided that instead of just…
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…