Friday, September 06, 2002

The rest of the blows

We finished watching The 400 Blows yesterday {phase One}. The trivia first: Truffaut makes a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo in the film. Watch out for a cigarette-smoking man walk across the screen as Antoine leaves the centrifuge at the fair. The last shot of the film is reputedly one of the most memorable shots in cinema, but I guess I've seen enough clones to have missed its originality.

On with my two cents. It's a slow lyrical film. I didn't notice too many conventional film-school devices employed to supplement the "coming-of-age" (yes, yes, it's a clichéd phrase) story of Antoine Doinel. It's slow, so be warned against watching it if you're feeling even remotely sleepy. The kids are great in the film as is the supporting cast. The film has made an impact on critics all over the world, and garnered a reputation for Truffaut. I haven't read any articles or essays about the film or even subjective takes on it (unlike Hitchcock). All I know is that this film deals with one of Truffaut's favourite themes: childhood. He also explores faithfulness, but only with faint strokes. I'd recommend this film simply as a breath of fresh air as we are surrounded by visceral comedy flicks loaded with scatalogical shticks, or weakly-scripted trite dramaturgical superfluity in the cinema halls. Skip the previews though: they're outrageously long, unintentionally hilarious and are perhaps doing more against the films than for them.

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