Ah! Bliss! Last night, after having dinner with my boyfriend I strolled up the road to the local music and DVD shop and chanced upon my idea of heaven: the complete Adventures of Antoine Doinel! Lucky me! I knew it was a find when I showed my boyfriend and he just said "Do you want some money for it?" That's his short hand for "Buy it immediately!"
Anyway, back to Antoine. For those of you who don't know, Antoine Doinel is the lead character in four movies made over a 20 year period by Monsieur La Nouvelle Vague himself, Francois Truffaut. The first film in the series, Les Quatre Cents Coups (1959) or The 400 Blows is an utter gem of a movie that is still heartbreakingly charming and insightful 50 years after it was made. It is also drop dead gorgeous to look at. That's Truffaut mid-shoot for The 400 Blows above.
The 400 Blows is a semi-autobiographical story about a feisty young boy, Doinel, whose unstable and indifferent parents lead him to rebellion in the form of skipping school and spending his days in the cinema amongst other things. He eventually ends up in a juvenile home as a result.
The three other Antoine Doinel movies: Stolen Kisses (1968), Bed and Board (1970), Love on the Run (1979) and the short film Antoine and Colette (1962) continue to follow the life of Antoine and all star the same actor Jean-Pierre Leaud. It's interesting to watch him grow older actually! It's a bit like a fictional Seven Up!
There is a lovely short piece written by Martin Scorsese for Time magazine here that I recommend you read as it gives a terrific overview of why Truffaut is one of the most important film makers of the 20th Century. Here is a very good biography of Truffaut and his life.
Finally, I leave you with a quote from the man himself which sums up his philosophy about film making:
I demand that a film express either the joy of making cinema or the agony of making cinema. I am not at all interested in anything in between.
Have a lovely weekend one and all!