A list of Edgar Wright's favorite 1000 Movies per his list on Mubi on July 27th, 2016.
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 a 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 and 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 and, 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…
There is a poetic surliness to Léaud that captures Antoine’s youthful “innocence” just as it’s beginning to curdle. It’s mostly a performance of authentic impulses and expressions, but there is also a remarkable sequence – captured by Truffaut in a handful of clever dissolve cuts – in which Antoine answers questions from a court-ordered psychologist. Finally faced with an adult who will genuinely listen to him, he delivers a monologue that’s 60 percent bravado and 40 percent aching for acceptance.
Full review here.
Ah, The 400 Blows...
Where do I begin?
It condemns the life of a child who was tempted with negligence, then consumed by crime. It's a heartbreaking herald, reminding us of the hazardous, in this case inevitable, consequences of naïvety.
I don't even know what I'm saying.
I can't really go with crowd on this one, as most of it did come off as repetitive and bipolar in terms of tone, so it made its distance from being a masterpiece.
But that ending really is great.
Not one I'd call a favorite, but a good movie, all in all.
I need to watch more French films, and I mean now. I'm taking a class on the language next year and I don't know smack about it.
Denke doch einer an die Kinder ;-;
ah yes, sweet teenage rebellion.
I'm not sure exactly what can be said that hasn't already been said for nearly 60 years about this exquisite gem of a masterpiece but I'll give it a shot.
Francois Truffaut's first full-length film about the coming-of-age of a 12 year old French boy whose parents don't pay much attention to him, so he hits the streets and falls into petty theft as a result.
Striking, evocative, funny, compelling, dazzling, masterful, exquisite are the first words that come to my mind. Along with masterpiece which this certainly is.
Its just such a great movie.
I could watch a full length movie just on that boy and his family.
The scene where they all went to the movies together and came back laughing made me so happy.
The name "The 400 Blows" does not do this film the justice. The title should be as beautiful as the film.
It's a fine name though.
The ending was incredible, that kid gave one of the best child performances I have ever seen.
No where to go...
We touched on this film in a class but for some reason didn't like it. It's simply great, captures the mood of a rebellious youth.
Definitivamente es una de mis películas preferidas de todos los tiempos. No deja de asombrarme, de decirme cosas nuevas, de lograr emocionarme.
La ternura con la que Truffaut filma a sus personajes, a todos, es un ejemplo de maestría y finura del lenguaje del cine. Esta es una maravilla cinéfila, una carta de amor a la niñez y una esperanzadora oda al futuro, al porvenir. Truffaut encuentra en lo nefasto destellos de brillo, piezas de felicidad.
Enamorado profundamente de esta película, de sus hermosos planos, de sus tiernos diálogos, de sus entrañables secuencias, de su amor por el cine y, sobretodo, de su hermoso e inolvidable final. ¡Larga vida a Antoine Doinel!
35mm screening at Berkeley Pacific Film Archive.