5, 185-188 The 400 Blows, The Adventures of Antoine Doinel

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Dylan
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Re: 5, 185-188 The 400 Blows, The Adventures of Antoine Doin

#176 Post by Dylan » Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:15 pm

Taken as a whole, the "Antoine Doinel Cycle" is a such a stylistically and tonally inconsistent series that I actually find it difficult to lump them all together. The fact that there's a visual dichotomy with the first two entries being in 2.35:1 and in black & white and the final three being 1.85:1 and in color, as well as the constant switch of composers (as much as I adore Georges Delerue and like Antoine Duhamel, Jean Constatin's score for The 400 Blows was amazing and that film's thematic material should've been the basis for all of the scores that followed) are elements I find even more jarring than the fact that the series kept getting lighter, sillier, and less dramatic as it moved along.

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Re: 5, 185-188 The 400 Blows, The Adventures of Antoine Doin

#177 Post by AnamorphicWidescreen » Fri Apr 24, 2015 7:33 pm

Dylan wrote:Taken as a whole, the "Antoine Doinel Cycle" is a such a stylistically and tonally inconsistent series that I actually find it difficult to lump them all together. The fact that there's a visual dichotomy with the first two entries being in 2.35:1 and in black & white and the final three being 1.85:1 and in color, as well as the constant switch of composers (as much as I adore Georges Delerue and like Antoine Duhamel, Jean Constatin's score for The 400 Blows was amazing and that film's thematic material should've been the basis for all of the scores that followed) are elements I find even more jarring than the fact that the series kept getting lighter, sillier, and less dramatic as it moved along.
IMHO, The 400 Blows is an iconic masterpiece. And, the ending of the movie was also extremely well-done, since it ended up being open-ended - i.e., you didn't know what happened to Antoine, and I guess that was the point - it was ambiguous, which I thought was interseting, and opened up a lot of questions - i.e., where did he go after he ran away from the boy's facility? Probably not back to his parents, who he didn't get along with.

Conversely, I find the later Antoine Doinel films very difficult to get through, and even boring on some level. I guess I just didn't care about the character that much - after the first film.
Last edited by AnamorphicWidescreen on Sat Apr 25, 2015 11:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 5, 185-188 The 400 Blows, The Adventures of Antoine Doin

#178 Post by Gregory » Fri Apr 24, 2015 8:29 pm

French neorealism, in 1959?

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Re: 5, 185-188 The 400 Blows, The Adventures of Antoine Doin

#179 Post by Emak-Bakia » Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:54 am

This will probably be considered blasphemy in some circles, but this week I finally got around to watching an English dubbed version of The 400 Blows that I have a print of. I was really pretty impressed by the quality of the dub. It seemed totally natural, and it allowed my eyes to focus entirely on the photography. Of course, I still prefer the original French language version, but I got to wondering if any of the home video releases have ever included the dub. I can't find any references to it online.

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The 400 Blows (Francois Truffaut, 1959)

#180 Post by Mr Sausage » Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:43 pm

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Re: The 400 Blows (Francois Truffaut, 1959)

#181 Post by Mr Sausage » Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:45 pm

This week we're discussing the winner of the French New Wave mini-list.

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Re: The 400 Blows (Francois Truffaut, 1959)

#182 Post by movielocke » Tue Nov 21, 2017 4:08 am

I finished rewatching this tonight.

Right from the beginning I was amazed at how good the film is. How it manages to be observational but still possess impeccable pace and flow. and I think it's that attitude that suffuses the film so very well. It's a working class attitude, in some ways the same vivre that animates the Pagnol trilogy. Truffaut and Leaud are"in it" so to speak, in the poverty, in the self-perpetuating interlocking systems of unfairness, but with no animus.

Since filmmaking is a craft almost always reserved for upper caste members, all around the world, filmmakers, then, now and everywhen in between have either a clinical distance (L'Enfance Nue) or an authentic or performed attitude of class-distance-of-disdainful-pseudo-sympathy (virtually everyone, everywhere), or if they are like Truffaut, they often either tend to or are forced (by the standards of international cinema sales) to adopt ever more extreme-extremes (City of God).

Something this quietly working class and plain in its protagonist would not be seen as "performing" the right amount of poverty (or any other social issue aspect you choose to take).

That is a round about way of saying that many films with characters and scenarios like 400 Blows rarely don't connect the same way because they are often so over-dramatized because they try to "perform" an "authentic" representation of some social issue stereotype that they think the uppercaste film buyers-distributers and cineaste viewers will want to consume (whilst patting themselves on the back of course).

But it's that quiet, banality of all the little things of their 'not-that-bad' (damn things can still get bad fast) life that make the film so very good. Truffaut does not loath Doinel's apartment nor his neighborhood (not like how Chabrol loathes and or is embarrassed by his hometown), Truffaut clearly loves it, and is not embarassed by it and I think Doinel loves it as well.

What I'm trying to say is that so many of these films of youth with protagonists like Doinel display the existence of the protagonist to be just unrelentlingly miserable. What's so refreshing about 400 Blows is that Truffaut finds unfairness and can portray the miserableness of a bad teacher but still finding life and sparkle in the same breath and scene. It's what gives the film so much vibrancy, that Truffaut simply likes everything around Doinel too much to ever cause his film to fall into the normal approach of over-the-top-everything-and-everyone-is-awful-all-the-time-to-you-kid (Kes). Truffaut even clearly loves the unfair teacher, relishing in his ridiculous, ineffective lessons infusing them with nostalgia and warmth rather then penance and guilt--even when something bad is happening.

Eventually, everything does go pear-shaped for Doinel. but it is impressive how quietly it happens and from so little. and it's amazing that Truffaut manages to give an explanation of how each step Doinel takes seems inevitable without ever making you feel like Antoine is ever really that guilty. The common phrase is that we're "on his side" but I think there is more going on than that. We're not just on his side, we're able to see more than Doinel sees, we're on his side, but we can also see the inexorable invisible forces of culture and society shaping things relentlessly to the inevitable outcomes they are designed to deliver. But done unobtrusively, never with a lecture, you won't know you're learning but you internalize the lesson deeply all the same.

The whole film is so very economical and elegant in its construction and execution. It's an incredible and remarkable achievement. a really incredibly impressive first film.

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Re: 5, 185-188 The 400 Blows, The Adventures of Antoine Doin

#183 Post by oldsheperd » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:16 pm

So I remember reading or hearing somewhere that the freeze frame at the end of 400 Blows wasn't intentional but happened because they ran out of film in the magazine and when Truffaut saw the developed film he decided to go with the freeze frame as the last shot of the film. Can anyone verify this?

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Re: 5, 185-188 The 400 Blows, The Adventures of Antoine Doin

#184 Post by hearthesilence » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:28 pm

I've read the same story myself many times but I'm not sure if I've ever seen a direct quote from Truffaut confirming this.

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Re: 5, 185-188 The 400 Blows, The Adventures of Antoine Doin

#185 Post by Roger Ryan » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:40 pm

oldsheperd wrote:So I remember reading or hearing somewhere that the freeze frame at the end of 400 Blows wasn't intentional but happened because they ran out of film in the magazine and when Truffaut saw the developed film he decided to go with the freeze frame as the last shot of the film. Can anyone verify this?
Possibly, but it doesn't make a lot of sense that it was unintentional since Doinel turns and looks directly into the camera before the freeze-frame. How was the shot suppose to continue? Would Doinel walk into a close-up still gazing at the camera? Would he walk past the camera? Would he look at the camera for a moment then continue walking out frame right? Any of these are possibilities, I guess.

What would make more sense is if Léaud broke character too soon (the look back to the camera as in "are we done with this shot yet?") and Truffaut took advantage of the gaffe by freeze-framing on Léaud's eye contact with the camera for effect.
Last edited by Roger Ryan on Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 5, 185-188 The 400 Blows, The Adventures of Antoine Doin

#186 Post by hearthesilence » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:47 pm

No, it make sense. First of all, it wasn't actually shot as a close-up, they created that in post-production via a substantial blow-up, and second, just because they ran out of film doesn't mean they went for the very last "usable" frame. They could've backtracked it until they found a moment that would've been suitable to make into a close-up, and looking at the camera could easily have been a transitory moment that worked perfectly.

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Re: 5, 185-188 The 400 Blows, The Adventures of Antoine Doin

#187 Post by Roger Ryan » Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:34 pm

hearthesilence wrote:No, it make sense. First of all, it wasn't actually shot as a close-up, they created that in post-production via a substantial blow-up, and second, just because they ran out of film doesn't mean they went for the very last "usable" frame. They could've backtracked it until they found a moment that would've been suitable to make into a close-up, and looking at the camera could easily have been a transitory moment that worked perfectly.
Not to put too fine a point on this, since I agree with what you're saying here, but saying the camera had run out of film leads one to ask how the shot was originally going to end...and there doesn't seem to be a lot of logical choices once the actor has broken the fourth wall to look at the camera lens. I definitely think that Truffaut made the decision in post-production where to freeze the footage and to do the blow-up; it was an inspired choice and made for a great ending.

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Re: 5, 185-188 The 400 Blows, The Adventures of Antoine Doinel

#188 Post by Morbii » Wed Jul 04, 2018 9:32 pm

Is the latest issue of this blu-ray the same transfer as the 2009 version, or was it restored again?

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Re: 5, 185-188 The 400 Blows, The Adventures of Antoine Doinel

#189 Post by Yaanu » Fri Jul 06, 2018 5:04 pm

Morbii wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 9:32 pm
Is the latest issue of this blu-ray the same transfer as the 2009 version, or was it restored again?
If I remember correctly, the Dual Format release was essentially a repackaging of the pre-existing BD release and new editions of the pre-existing DVDs, and the subsequent DVD/BD releases were split versions of the Dual Format release.

So, yes, the latest version of the Blu-ray is the same as the original BD release. I think.

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