Skip to main content

400 Blows full film and review

1959
Directed By Francois Truffaut
Starring Jean-Pierre Leaud and Albert Remy

This could easily be one of the most potent films about youth that I have ever seen. Supposedly based on Truffaut's own personal experiences, this is the story of a troubled young man who was never really given a chance. We are shown a trouble maker whose home life is terrible. Its not just the poverty but the lack of warmth and bleakness that fills our protagonists life that makes his at home experience so grim. When he acts out and runs head first into a life of crime we never hold him to task, instead we are left feeling empathy and understand why he makes the decisions he makes.

Nothing in this film feels unnecessary or dispensable every shot is essential and pulls us in further. Unlike many films today this movie is tight and lean. We are shown a young man who is an after thought to most of the people in his life. While some people border on kind, it is readily apparent that no one in the film is overly attached to this young man.

As we enter the second or third generation of latch key kids in our culture this film feels completely relevant over 50 years after its initial release. That is one of the marks of a truly great film. How it stands up to the test of time. Styles change, hair cuts and pants come in vogue (I wanted so badly to type en vogue) and go the way of the dodo but the truth will always be relevant. When a film speaks honestly about the human condition, the other things become window dressing, superfluous and easy to ignore. Not that this film doesn't look and sound great. This is a beautiful film that everyone should see.

This is not some obtuse masterpiece that is impossible to watch and you feel like you are supposed to enjoy it. No, this is an incredibly watchable film that I for one am a better person for having seen. I can't imagine many films that I would put in a satellite and send off to aliens so they might have a better understanding of what it means to be human, but this one is certainly one of them. Did that last sentence make any sense? Oh well, I just finished my second IPA of the night and I'm feeling pretty loose... so, fuck it, I'm leaving it in. This has gotten far too meta.

While this film is certainly soaked with sadness it also contains moments of joy that feel as real as anything else in the film. These moments are in no way saccharine or unearned. Like every other beat of this film these moments are justified and never feel out of place. Its never like the tag at the end of the local news where we see a squirrel on water skis.

You can watch the entire film below thanks to the fine folks over at Criterion.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Trainwreck

No contemporary filmmaker has chronicled the messy human experience with the eye and ear of a comedic cultural anthropologist like JUDD APATOW. Hits as varied as those he’s directed, like Knocked Up and The 40-Year-Old Virgin, and those he’s produced, like Superbad and Bridesmaids, are all unified by their honest, unflinching, comic look at how complicated it is to grow up in the modern world. Apatow has also built a history of helping break distinctive new comedy voices into the mainstream, from Seth Rogen to Lena Dunham, among many others. Now, in his fifth feature film as a director, Apatow again brings a portrait of an unforgettable character, and a portrayal by a breakout new comedy star, together in a film written by and starring AMY SCHUMER (TV’s Inside Amy Schumer) as a woman who lives her life without apologies, even when maybe she should apologize. U n d o u b t e d ly, S c h u m e r h a s b e e n s t e a d i ly achieving cultural notoriety of her own. From her bruta

THE True Bromance Film Podcast - Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Episode 208 - Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse We like to keep up with the latest and greatest in the film universe so for this episode we're dialing up Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. In a world where superhero films saturate the market, can an animated feature distinguish itself from the pack? MOVIES DISCUSSED THIS WEEK: A Fistful of Dollars, The Favourite, Skyscraper, The Meg, RBG, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Searching, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

THE True Bromance Film Podcast - Inglourious Basterds

Episode 219 - Inglourious Basterds This week we are celebrating 10 years of Brad Pitt and his band of merry men wreaking havoc in Nazi Germany in Quentin Tarantino's masterpiece, Inglourious Basterds.