Antoine Doinel strikes again! In the final chapter of François Truffaut’s saga, we find Doinel (Jean-Pierre Léaud), now in his thirties, convivially concluding his marriage, enjoying moderate success as a novelist, and clinging to his romantic fantasies. The newly single Doinel finds a new object of his affections in Sabine, a record store salesgirl whom he pursues with the fervid belief that without love, one is nothing. Along the way, he renews his acquaintance with previous loves and confronts his own chaotic past. In Love on the Run, Antoine Doinel is still in love and because he’s still in love, he’s still alive. —The Criterion Collection
The product of an unhappy, loveless home, Truffaut began using films to escape the exigencies of reality at age seven, virtually living in various Parisian movie houses. He left school to go to work at 14, and, one year later, founded a film club, which brought him to the attention of influential cinema critic Andre Bazin. Over the next few years, Bazin both financed and protected Truffaut. In 1953, Bazin hired Truffaut as a critic/essayist for Cahiers du Cinema. It was in the January 1954 edition that Truffaut published his landmark essay “A Certain Tendency in the French Cinema,” in which he attacked directors who merely ground out films without any personal cinematic vision; he also propounded the auteur theory, which opined that the only directors worth serious consideration were those who left their own individual signatures on each of their films. Truffaut noted that writing critiques enabled him to understand why he loved films and to rationalize his reasons for liking them… read more
There really are too many clips from the earlier films in this Antoine Doinel finale. Was this before home video when people could only see films in theatres? Perhaps Truffaut couldn't forsee people who've marathoned all the films at once finding the excessive callbacks tiresome. Would have liked there to be a few more films but a nice series featuring 2 great films (400 Blows & Stolen Kisses) and the rest good.
Exactly 20 years after Les quatre cents coups, the final Doinel outing sees the playfulness of the series - while present - become more grounded, taking a backseat as Doinel confronts his past through a series of recollections, reunions and separations, while continuing to pursue love even on the cusp of middle-age. Thus resembling more a revery of sorts - including many extended flashbacks to past misadventures; all retain their charm - yet remaining quite lite, and still just as touching.