In this follow up to The 400 Blows, Antoine Doinel is now aged 18 and working at Phillips packaging records. One day while attending a Berlioz concert, he falls head over heels for a beautiful young woman in the audience…
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Truffaut gets at a beautiful sense of documentary with Leaud pressing records, carrying the entirety of his belongings through Parisian streets, his camera zooming to capture a more objective sense of how one only partially grasps a public space--here a music hall full of youths. Truffaut uses classical music very expressively here, punctuating Antoine & Colette's eye movements, Antoine trying to master space, fate.
Though not as beautiful in it's direction as 400 Blows, I slightly prefer this short but wonderful continuation of Antoine Doinel's life. It's more concise, captures a part of life that is rarely well portrayed (as opposed to the dozens of great films about childhood) and has a wonderful musicality in it's editing as showcased by the show stealing (pun intended) moment when Antoine first sees Colette.
Everybody has meet a Colette once in his life. A woman who seems like the most wonderful beauty in the world, so much so that the person is unable to express his love. The mixed messages, the subtle cues that are not catched by Antoine, "te quiero, pero no te amo" vibe coming from her that is oblivious to Antoine. It all adds up to the final scene, so raw and painful, like a slow motion train wreck one cannot unseen.
The second part of Truffaut's Antoine Doinel series, and it makes me want to keep going forward. In but thirty minutes Truffaut captures Antoine's first love, those little triumphs and massive let-downs. It's a bit dry at times, but it's an adorable little short.