the 400 blows

May 7, 2008

it’s lucky that this blog seems to coincide with a number of filmspotting message board marathons. we lined up on one or two films during hitchcock month and now again with the beginners french new wave. it helps me in the fact that i can mull over other listeners reviews and quantify my own response, and i think it’s easier to respond to someone else than come up with something off the top of my head (i’m a lazy writer like that).

i think you gotta view this film as a commentary on authority. i mean, the entire film we’re told (by authority) that antoine is a troubled child. that he is the one screwing up over and over again, but we are sympathetic towards his plight. we see situation after situation were the adults abuse their authority. where we a forced to almost laugh at how ridiculously they are acting. and we get very little commentary by truffaut on the subject. the one scene where we get a little bit of a nod is when antoine gets kicked out of his class for plagiarism, and his best friend rené follows suite. as rené is getting kicked out he actually talks back to the teacher, saying something to the extent of “this is illegal”.

antoine’s parents clearly have no idea how to handle the responsibility of parenthood. they complain because he gets on their nerves, they send him off to the police instead of trying to take responsibitly, and his mother clearly is not the shining example of how to lead a life. none of the adults in the film are. renés mothers a drunk, antoine’s mother is an adulterer, their school teacher abuses his power.

in response to a certain response to the film i have to completely disagree. i think the composition in this film is great (and if the dvd from the library would play on my laptop i would post some screencaps to defend my point). from a cinematography standpoint i don’t think you can criticize the film because of all the fantastic tracking shots and camera movement.

really enjoyed the film, and the french new wave continues not to disappoint us here at 4films.

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a few notes of importance

for may there will be no immediate schedule. i still have to catch up with 39 steps and 2001 and a few films before a final exam this friday. look for my match up in the 1990s bracket thingy of beautiful girls and kicking and screaming.  also be looking for possible reviews of iron man and indy 4……. just because.

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3 Responses to “the 400 blows”

  1. worm@work Says:

    One of my favorite screenshots from the film :). Nice review, btw. I’m really looking f/w to the rest of the films in the marathon now.

  2. johnheberle Says:

    i really want to go on one of those spinny things now.

  3. roujin Says:

    You’re absolutely right regarding the message of authority. Antoine’s parents defer to the school because they almost never pay attention to him. They see the teachers as figures of authority as well so they assume that they are right regarding Antoine when they don’t know what’s going on with him either.

    You should’ve posted the one where’s he upside down for the screenshot :)


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