Wednesday, February 09, 2011
04. Les quatre cent coups (François Truffaut, 1959)
Often hailed as one of the most prominent pieces to come out of of the French New Wave, The 400 Blows is realism at its gritty, grainy best. Whereas previous films were all about their happy endings and conventional story-telling, Truffaut ventures into new ground with his pseudo-documentary-style here. It was revolutionary at the time, but even now, more than 50 years on, The 400 Blows makes for compelling view, and anyone who’s ever felt disjointed or misunderstood would surely connect with it. There are sequences of utmost hilarity juxtaposed with sadness that hints at the disturbing malaise of truth. I think I first saw The 400 Blows when I was about 15 and I saw myself in the lead character straight away. Almost 6 years on, I still recognize myself in them. There’s really not a lot of films I could say that about, now. A true masterpiece.