DiS Film Discussion Club #2: The 400 Blows (1959)

Absolutely brilliant. Obviously stunning visually, but funny and sweet and really human.

Think it’s quite interesting how different the public here feel about British new wave films comparatively. Lots of them are as good as the French films of the same era or a few years earlier, but there’s a snobbishness about them.

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People like Karel Reisz are pretty highly regarded no?

The English title is a literal translation of the French but misses its meaning, as the French title refers to the idiom “faire les quatre cents coups”, which means “to raise hell”. On the first prints in the United States, subtitler and dubber Noelle Gillmor gave the film the title Wild Oats , but the distributor did not like that and reverted it to The 400 Blows. Before seeing it, some people thought the film covered the topic of corporal punishment.

Weird that no one has tried retitle it more clearly in English but I guess once it stuck it stuck and ‘Hellraiser’ would have been even more confusing.

is there an essay question this time?

Noticed the actor who played the dad died just a few years after this was made. The actress who played the mother’s still going strong.

I just trawled through my old notes from the French Cinema module I took at university about seven or eight (sacre bleu, indeed) years ago and found this

The portrayal of growing up in post-war Paris is generally grim. What are the positive elements in Antoine’s life and how are they represented?

Which was actually the topic of the presentation I had to give but works as a question, I guess

Think I did my essay on this on how the environment is presented as oppressive or something. Wrote some stuff about how he’s constantly framed within lines within shots or somesuch iirc

My presentation notes I just read were adorably naive. They describe “the shot where Doiniel is in the spinning room thing”

:slight_smile: can’t imagine trying to read through first year uni stuff now. Reckon my final year work would be half decent enough

I did an essay in final year about The Simpsons which I remember getting one of the highest marks I ever received for anything

Steamed hams but it’s an academic essay


Got my highest mark for an essay on stop making sense

On this subject actually, does anyone have any French New Wave recs? I remember watching some early-ish Godard many years ago, which I might try and get back into. And I’ve been meaning to watch Alphaville for donkeys.

I dig the playful aesthetic and all that business. Also, I look forward to the next film club thread.

Resnais >>>

Going to definitely watch this tonight, feel like I’m going to like it a lot more than three colours blue but didn’t get a chance over the weekend :confused:

bought that Chabrol collection boxset a few years ago and everything on it is great

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big fan of the butcher.

try to avoid Godard, he’s really not very good


but do go for Don’t Shoot The Piano Player

this reminds me, I don’t think I’ve seen any Eric Rohmer films. which of those are good?

also anyone seen these other Truffaut films on amazon prime - Finally, Sunday + the Last Metro?

I’d probably go for Paris nous appartient or Celine and Julie Go Boating (although it’s like 3 hours) for Rivette. Alphaville is good. Juste Avant la Nuit was my favourite Chabrol film I think.