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The 400 Blows Paperback – 1 Nov 1986
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The messages are shown not told. Parental greed has an innocent sheen. Everywhere: at home, at school, with the law, the woeful forces of 'control.' But the fascinating story also has many gorgeous scenes for us to view. I watched on projection this widescreen film (black bars top and bottom) of late 1950s Paris so packed with life and the kind of street scenes that only come from old black and white films. Somehow more real than colour.
It is a film of today. No film-maker would dare put adults in such a spotlight. Not Loach or Leigh or Polanski. They would have to go to some tabloid extreme to find their hits. Truffaut fills the screen with the kind of truth that is found only in the moment. The moment where you are. Intensified, of course, through the eyes of the young. The scene of a close-up of a mass of very young watching a puppet show says as much about diversion as it does of joy. Pure joy.
I can not fault this blu ray edition. The faintest of faint grain but the kind which does not detract from its often hand-held allure. We have the director to thank for always filling the screen. The Extras seem token but that is not the reason why you should experience this film, this intimate film of many places where a boy nearly grows.
2.35:1 with French LPCM and optional English subtitles.
Commentary by Professor Brian Stonehill.
Commentary by Robert Lachenay, lifelong friend of Truffaut.
Various screen tests, interviews and auditions.
Cannes 1959 newsreel.
Cineaste de notre temps: a French tv show with Truffaut talking about his early life and writing.
Cinepanorama: a tv show with Truffaut discussing The 400 Blows.
For some strange reason the 2 disc version I bought ( 1 bluray, 1 Dvd) was cheaper than the bluray only, at time of writing. Go figure.
This edition is a highly recommended addition to anyone's library. 10 stars at least.
There is nothing rotten about this film, depicting Paris as many Parisians would like to see it now, it is evocative of the period, a great tool for a parent trying to inspire their child in the genre of the epoch and to learn the French language. Great stuff and quite sad and profound.
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Most recent customer reviews
I watched this film at the cinema and found it so good I will be ordering a version on disc to watch again.Read more
I can use the dvd as a cup mat.