The 400 Blows Analysis

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The 1959 French film The 400 Blows, the debut of director Francois Truffaut, changed the course of cinema within the span of less than 100 minutes. The 400 Blows, with child-like elegance, expresses the gentle yet callused nature of the writer/director through the use of authentic storytelling, superb casting, innovative production, and the effective molding of all of these traits to make one, powerful masterpiece. The story centers around thirteen year old Antoine and his life in 1950’s Paris. Antoine, through his parent’s neglect and school’s cruel teaching methods, finds himself struggling to fit in with society. Through a series of periodic lying and minor crimes, Antoine further ostracizes himself from his family and the people around him, eventually leading to him running away. Throughout the film, the viewer can tell that this boy is obviously confused and simply needs someone to understand him. The story is well told, because many of these events actually happened. Director Francois Truffaut,…show more content…
The main function for the soundtrack in this film is to show the naive nature of the entire story. This is from the young boy’s perspective, so the musical score mimics those emotions. The pizzicato strings do a wonderful job in creating the innocent and curious environment. Also, the theme of Antoine and Rene’s day where they skip school is cheerful Latin music. It is a song that says to the audience that the two boys are carefree and having the time of their lives. At the end of the film, the pizzicato strings return. As Antoine reaches the ocean, something he has yearned for, the massive orchestral version of the main theme fades into the plucked version. Antoine’s massive expectations for the ocean fade into the realization that he is trapped in this world, no matter how far he runs. The score lets us feel the weight of the film’s unspoken emotions. This is helped by the rarely acknowledged art of

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