France, 1959, 99 min, 35mm, Dir. François Truffaut, Not Rated, French with English subtitles, Janus Films
“The 400 Blows, with all its simplicity and feeling, is in a class by itself.” – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
François Truffaut’s first feature is also his most personal. Told through the eyes of his cinematic counterpart, Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre Léaud), The 400 Blows sensitively re-creates the trials of Truffaut’s own childhood, unsentimentally portraying aloof parents, oppressive teachers, and petty crime. The film marked Truffaut’s passage from leading critic to trailblazing auteur of the French New Wave.
The release of François Truffaut’s The 400 Blows in 1959 shook world cinema to its foundations. The now-classic portrait of troubled childhood introduced a major new director in the cinematic landscape and was an inaugural gesture of the revolutionary French New Wave. But The 400 Blows did not only introduce the world to its precocious director - it also unveiled his indelible creation: Antoine Doinel. Initially patterned closely after Truffaut himself, the Doinel character (played by the irrepressible and iconic Jean-Pierre Léaud) reappeared in four subsequent films that knowingly portrayed his myriad frustrations and romantic entanglements from his stormy teens through marriage, children, divorce, and adulthood. With The Adventures of Antoine Doinel, CGAC is proud to present - in 35mm - the celebrated saga in its entirety: the feature films The 400 Blows, Stolen Kisses, Bed and Board, and Love on the Run, and the 1962 short subject Antoine and Colette.
A $36 series pass that grants admission for one person to all four films is available here.