All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…
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…
"I need some money for lunch, dad. Only 1,000 francs."
"Therefore you hope for 500. Therefore you need 300. Here's 100."
#100 on Berken's Favorite Movies Of All Time
As a standalone - 4/5
As the "pilot episode" of Francois Truffaut's series of movies starring the character Antoine Doinel, introduced here - 4.5/5
(Granted, I haven't seen the other Doinel movies yet, but this one got me genuinely excited to see more of what the character becomes and encounters, which is the most important thing a first entry in a series can do.)
Some scattered thoughts:
1. Just between the quietly thoughtful 400 Blows and Jean-Luc Godard's beautifully unhinged Breathless, it's already clear to me that the French New Wave…
"Fuck this, I'm going to the beach."
One of the most beautiful films I have ever seen. It's a tremendous and emotional journey into a misunderstood boy's life. François Truffaut does such a brilliant job of portraying the outside factors in his life that hold him back and don't understand him. Whether it's his family, or teachers, he does such a great job of making us understand it from Antoine's perspective. The scene where the teacher accused Antoine's writing as plagiarism when he wrote it himself is so heartbreaking. But it also can be beautiful, especially in the scene when he and his family go out to the movies and are just happy to be together. For that one scene, they were all so genuinely happy to be with each other. The ending to this film is just so damn magnificent. The 400 blows is a honest and powerful portrait of young adolescence.
Free screening as part of TIFF's "TIFF 40: Your Favourites" program. My first Truffaut.
Format: Beautiful 35mm print
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
François Truffaut's seminal New Wave classic needs no introduction. The 400 Blows set off the most important film movement of all time, breathing fresh air into an artistic medium that was stuffy and had seemingly forgotten that it once had a life of its own that existed outside the realms of theatre. Gone were the days of L'Atalante or The Rules of the Game; in the years leading up to The 400 Blows, melodramatic set pieces ruled the day, with bloated literary adaptations capturing French audiences' attention. When Truffaut burst onto the scene (though that verb might understate the director's career of criticism and lifelong love for the cinema), he dared audiences to rethink their conception of the seventh art…
I've seen The 400 Blows quite a few times -- 5 at least, I'd guess -- and I'm never quite prepared for the impact of that final freeze frame. There's something almost mystical about it, suspended in time or "caught," like Roger Ebert wrote, "between land and water, between past and future."
Maybe it helps that I personally relate a lot to this kid, but I think even without that, the film is a staggering portrait of youth in flux, of all the things that can and will go wrong, and choices circumscribed, and motives misinterpreted or gleaned all too clearly, and future possibilities unclear. It's a vision of youth as making a break for it.
It's also apparently the…
In New Wave Cinema.
Wondering if the "Where is the girl?" "The girl is at the beach" "Beeeeaach" part is supposed to note how similar Beach and Bitch are to a non native speaker.
I love the scene where the children are watching the puppet show. Those kids are sweet, darling, affectionate, and there TO RAISE HELL. I feel this scene is echoed by Víctor Erice (Spirit of the B) and Krzysztof Kieslowski (Double Life of V).
Nothing beats JPL's gentle trot on the beach.
The 400 Blows is a beautifully made film. There are some glorious tracking shots and some wonderfully choreographed sequences.
I really enjoyed the story. I did feel like it was maybe a bit too simplistic at times. Antoine wasn't a bigger trouble maker than the other boys in class, and some of them had just as bad of home life - so it felt like bad luck was what kept getting in the way of Antoine.
The story pushed forward into a near after school special (or Lifetime movie) level of a downward spiral. That's fine and good - it's of no fault of Truffaut's - I really liked this movie - but I wanted a bit more depth in…
Week 1 of the Letterboxd Season Challenge 2015-16
Masterpiece! Wouldn't be surprised if I ended up giving this five stars after watching it again.
Woody Allen's "Paris"
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!