Monday, March 5, 2012

Movies 101 - The 400 Blows

The 400 Blows – 99 min – No rating

This film was about a young boy growing up in Paris. We see the events that lead him down the path of criminal delinquency. His parents were completely oblivious to his needs because of their selfishness. He lives with them in a small apartment. His parents both work and make no time for their son. The teacher only sees him as a trouble maker and it turns out to be a self fulfilling prophecy.

It was completely heartbreaking to watch. I was so saddened by the plight of the main character. He was the product of his environment. The last shot where he is running on the beach a truly honest feeling of freedom contrast with the prison of circumstances of his life in Paris. It was a beautifully done picture.

The style of the film is described as French New Wave. From what I read it is very raw storytelling. The films are low budget and are shot with just the barest of support. When I think of Independent film I think of movies like this where it was one small group of people who have a wonderful story to tell and are not bogged down the by the studio system. The subjects of these films are usually of real people in real situations without the fake storybook imagery of traditional cinema.

My take away:

The French New Wave style is focused on true story telling and had some passionate people involved in its birth. They had shoe string budgets and were dedicated to the story. They made some bold edit choices based on style and sometimes finical restrictions.

I watched this on Hulu and they have some really great movies in their Criterion collection section.

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