The Mischief Makers

The Mischief Makers ★★★½

Still Playing Catch Up! - Film School Drop Outs - Week 13 - Movement - French New Wave (1959-1970)

After completely falling in love with The 400 Blows last night, I immediately wanted to watch more Truffaut. I didn't have time for a second film, so I watched this early short instead.

Les Mistons takes place in Provencal France, where a group of young boys "les mistons" which can be politely translated as "The Mischief Makers" or simply "The Brats" are infatuated with a beautiful young woman named Bernadette (Bernadette Lafont). Jealous of her passionate affair with Gérard (Gérard Blain), they conspire to separate the woman from her boyfriend.

It made me nostalgic for a type of childhood I never had, in a country I've never lived in and a time before I was born. But in a way it made me nostalgic for those six weeks of summer school holidays, where the summer seemed to last forever and every day was blisteringly hot. Playing with friends and getting into mischief. An idealised remembered summer.

The story is slight but the film is charming, some of Truffaut's style including the famous tracking shots are already apparent. This is the very beginning of French New Wave.

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