2014 Blind Spot Series: The 400 Blows


What I knew going in: Nothing, really. 

Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre Leaud) is a schoolboy that's neglected by his parents. His mother seems to dislike him, his father is disinterested, his teacher has no patience for him. It's no wonder he gets bad grades and makes questionable decisions. Soon, he starts skipping school, sneaking in movies and stealing. 

This is my first "French New Wave" film. I think it can be risky when you have a child lead, but Leaud did a wonderful job. I feel like Paris as a city really does enhance every film it's in. I found the parents in this film pretty insufferable, but it just made me sympathize with Antoine even more. (It's sad when the bed at the juvenile detention center looks more comfortable than the one he has at home)  I ended the film with the hope that he can turn everything around.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "They don't believe me when I tell the truth.." - Antoine (Jean-Pierre Leaud) 

16 comments:

  1. Of the few French New Wave films that I've seen, this is by far my favorite. Glad you enjoyed it.

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    1. Me too! I'm going to have to look for more French New Wave now.

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  2. I liked this movie a lot too, and I agree that the young lead did a terrific job. I remember reading that the film closely reflects François Truffaut's own early life.

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    1. I read that too. That's a little horrifying, hopefully his parents didn't suck this much.

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  3. Truffaut and Leaud worked so well together that they even expounded on this character in FIVE movies. You should check them all out. Truffaut is one of my favorite directors.

    I love this movie!

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    1. Really? I did not know that! I'll have to look for those now. Thanks!

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  4. I didn't know this was French New Wave. I trust this kind of stuff is better than Godard, right?

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    1. I've never seen any Godard films, so I'm not sure to be honest.

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  5. I just looked up the title, and I'm shocked! I've seen the poster several times, and all of this time I thought it was a Holocaust film staring a woman... My mistake.
    http://s3.amazonaws.com/criterion-production/release_boxshots/1807-e154f9270040ec4880a5de4533e5dc79/EAH_400Blows_original.jpg

    Glad you enjoyed it! Watching a praised movie to only out that it's not as good as others think can really suck.

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    1. Oh funny! Yes, it definitely does suck when you watch a movie that you've heard so much about, and it ends up being "meh."

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  6. This is the first film of Truffaut that I saw and fell in love with it. It's currently my favorite Truffaut film at the moment as I'm just about five feature films and one short film away from completing his entire body of work for my Auteurs piece on him in December. I know that there's people that prefer Godard over Truffaut but I'm in the camp that prefers Truffaut.

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    1. Oh wow, his filmography seems so extensive too. I look forward to that post!

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  7. I haven't seen any French New Wave film, nor anything by Truffaut. This movie is so well-loved so I probably should give it a shot!

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  8. Glad you liked it! This is one of my favorite Truffaut films, and I love Leaud's performance. He's actually my Best Actor winner that year.

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    1. He probably deserved it. He shows a lot of maturity beyond his years with that performance.

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