OTB#13: The 400 Blows

The 400 Blows. François Truffaut. 1959. ⚅

I really thought I’d seen this before, but I couldn’t find it anywhere… until I searched for Quatre Cents Coups. Duh.

Anyway, I watched this in 2016, and now I’m watching it again. I don’t actually remember much of this (pre?-)Nouvelle Vague movie other than that it was quite pretty? And had something to do with school? Let’s find out.

[half an hour passes]

Well, OK, I didn’t remember this movie before starting to watch it, but immediately whenever a new scene starts it’s “aahhh! this scene…” like it’s an iconic scene I’ve lived with all my life. Which I haven’t. But Truffaut makes everything seem like the perfect instantiation of the concept: That’s The Schoolroom; that’s The Flat; that’s The Gorgeous Mother; that’s The Goofy Dad. How could it be otherwise?

[the end]

I love this movie, but it’s not perfect. The kids are a lot of fun to watch, but they’re not exactly er good actors — frequently they’re just standing around waiting for their cues to deliver their lines, which they’ll do with great alacrity. It’s fun to watch. The adult actors are also quite variable, with some of the teachers devolving into panto at times.

It is a wonderful movie, though I can’t really say whether the pleasure I’m having watching this is due to the film being, you know, great, or whether I just love watching these people moving around in their impeccably stylish 50s French clothes in these impeccably stylish picaresque French surroundings.

This blog post is part of the Officially The Best series.

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