Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Bonnie and Clyde

This film came out in 1967 and was directed by Arthur Penn. It stars Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway and Gene Hackman.

I had seen this movie before the viewing today in class. However, I would never have realized its French New wave roots if not for today. It was interesting to learn that they had wanted Truffault to direct the film. It was also interesting what affect Warren Beatty had on the film. That this was one of the first times a big star was a producer, and that he helped get the movie a second showing.

It was very interesting how they discussed sex, and impotence. It was neat how a few years earlier, none of that would have been allowed in a film. The idea of a gun being a fallic symbol is nothing new, yet one can really notice it in this film. When Clyde first shows Bonnie his gun, she gets turned on. After he robs the store and the drive away, Bonnie is filled with sexual energy and tries to seduce him. This is the first time we see that Clyde is not interested in sex like many men.

Also interesting is the thought that Beatty was able to see past all of this and decide to gamble on this role. For someone who was an famous bachelor and used his sex appeal to his advantage, playing an impotent theif could have done him more harm than good.

A woman in class said, that every time she sees this film it is like seeing it for the first time. I have to agree. I have seen this film before, but watching it through new, open eyes was an exciting and memorable way to end the semester.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Story of Adele H.

This film was made by Francis Truffaut. It came out in 1975.

The story takes place in Halifax, in the year 1863. A woman comes to look for a man she is in love with. the man she is in love with does not love her back, and he made that very clear to her. However, she does not seem to understand. Adele becomes obsessed with him and begins to stalk him.

Poor Adele, seems to be very take advantage of in the beginning. The Let. Proposes marriage, but does not really mean it. Adele however, believes that he does. When he is shipped to someplace else, she goes after him, believing his propsal to be real, and hopes to find him and have their marriage take place.

When Adele throws herself in the Let. path and is tosses aside, her infatuation and slight obsession turns into madness.

This film is full of love, passion and even self-destruction. I enjoyed this film, but cannot help but feel it makes women look a little bad, as if we all could easily become that obsessed and stalk the objects of our desire.

Pierrot Le Fou

This film was by Jean- Luc Goddard. It came out in 1965.

The main character is Pierrot, who becomes bored with his life. He decides to travel. He travels from Paris to the Mediteranian Sea with a woman who is being chased by hit-men from Algeria.

What really caught my attention in this film was the way Goddard played with narration. At times Pierro and Marianne would talk about what their characters were doing or would do. (definetly a new idea for film!)

The affair these two have, seems to be going well, until a dead body is found at Marianne's apartment.

Both the charachter seem to get bored very easily. Their boredom causes the affair in the first place, and in the end causes Marianne to leave.

Anna's charachter seems to be about right, as compared to all the other characters we have seen her play. Perhaps this was Goddard's way of saying they had both become bored in their relationship.

I enjoyed this film, as it had drama and a love story. It is truly interesting to watch Goddard and Anna's relationship develope and fail on screen.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Jules and Jim

This film was by Francois Truffaut and came out in 1962.

This film starts out and seems to be a tricky love triangle. Both Jules and Jim fall in love with the same woman, Catherine. Catherine loves and marries Jules. Later in life they meet up again and Catherine starts to love Jim. We see that all these people love each other, and yet this love does not seem to affect their friendship. Confusing right...

We see once again the stereotyping of women. Usually we see Goddard as very sexist, but this time we are seeing a woman through Truffaut's eyes and he seems to be very sexist also.

Catherine seems to be very unhappy. After her and Jules have moved to the country with their daughter, she begins to have affairs. Jules tolerates it because he does not think that he can live without her. When Jim comes to visit she begins to have an affair with him.

In my opinion, this may be one of the worst portrayals of a woman in all the films we have so far seen. Catherine is always looking for the grass to be greener, and cant seem to find happiness with just one man. In today's day and age if a woman was that loose after marriage she would be called a slut.

Funny thing is, this was one of the only films I had ever heard of before this class. I had heard it referenced in a TV show or a different movie. I was very excited to see this film. While it was not necessarily the best moral message it was an enjoyable film.


This film is by Jean-Luc Goddard and came out in 1963.

It is about an unsuccessful man hired to write a screen play for a famous director. The characters seem very fake to me and therefore it was hard to relate easily to them.

What is very interesting about this film is that it is a film about the making of a film. (we have seen the idea of this several times in other french new wave films). The Hollywood producers in this film are not nicely portrayed. The beginning credits are announced by a voice over which differs from the way that most films start. However, we have seen some French new wave directors play with similar ideas in the openings of films.

Again not one of my favorites, but different in many ways. It seems to be a more classical film and I am sure that many may have enjoyed this more than I did.

Vivre sa vie

This film was by Jean-Luc Goddard and came out in 1962. Goddard could be considered to be obsessed with prostitutes. However, as we discussed in class, he views prostitutes as working class people, who are working to get the job done. The film centers around the life of a prostitute.

I love the voice over that explains the rules of prostitution. We see all aspects of this prostitutes life. We know why she became a prostitute and even see her interacting with many other prostitutes.

Goddard again plays with the camera. We dont even see Anna's face until after 10 minutes into the film. This helps to distance us from her in the beginning of the film. The film is completed in only 12 scenes.

This film was very interesting but terribly depressing. Not one of my favorites.

My Night at Maud's

This film is by Eric Rohmer and came out in 1969. It is a love story, but different that the usual love story. When Jean-Louis sees Maud in a church he decides immediately that she will become his wife.

This film has quite a bit of comedy, the usual and unusual love story stuff and even religion in it. This film focuses mainly on religion and how religion affects the characters decisions.

The film is very dialogue based, yet it still seems to move quickly. It doesn't leave too much time to question what will come next.

This film was easily relatable. We see the themes of lust, love, and religion all being intertwined.

Maud in this film was portrayed as a strong woman which is a nice change from how most women seem to be portrayed in all the french new wave films. Usually they are portrayed as stupid or manipulative beings only here for men's pleasure. However Maud is strong and clearly an equal with the male characters.

I enjoyed this film, not very often can religion be intertwined so easily in a film that can still be enjoyable to the masses.

Masculin Feminin

This film is again by Jean-Luc Goddard. It was made in black and white and with a very low budget. It came out in 1966. This film is able to penetrate reality and describes social reality. It also shows how a film can be used as a medium. This is not a linear film.

The french communist party was a major party at this time, it never won the election but always got at least 25-30% of the vote. You can see in this film that Goddard was getting more into politics. There are several references to the Vietnam war. This film was very choppy and does not flow well.

Again we see stereotypes that Goddard always faces. The plot is de-emphasized. He again experiments with sound ( it is there, stops, picks up again). The story is divided into chapters that are numbered, but does not flow numerically like chapters in a book would. The subtitles or messages of the chapters come with a loud, menacing, almost scary sound behind them. It definitely grabs your attention. We also see Goddard dealing with class and political issues.

The two main characters are Paul and Madeline. Paul is very anguished, troubled about politics and when asked what his main focus in life is said, Love. Madeline is very self centered and absorbed, her main focus in life would be herself.

The interviewing scenes are very weird. The scene want us to be unsure if we are seeing the actors or the characters give the answers. The scene of 2 people questioning each other are more like an interrogation scene than two people getting to know each other.

This film used montages, when Goddard wanted the idea of shocking and several different and random ideas/objects/things put together and having it work.

This film surprised me with the mention on birth control and abortion. I was also very surprised when Paul died. It follows the line of french new wave by showing us that film can contain/do/be anything.


This is a film by Jean-Luc Goddard. It came out in 1965. This film is a story by Lemmy Caution. It is a story about a computer (not HAL!) the genres this film is based on are film noir and science fiction. Basically the computers job is to eliminate anything feminine. It also could deal with the possible elimination of humanity. The idea of the computer is to end all illogical behavior (or feminine behavior depending on how you view women!) This film was shot and edited in one month. The voice of the computer was played by a man who had a laryinectomy.

There are two very disturbing scenes in this film. The first is the execution scene, 50 men to every 1 woman are shot off a diving board into a pool. A group of synchronized swimmers jump in and gather the floating dead bodies. What a fun job that would be. One man was executed because he cried when his wife died. The second disturbing scene is when the computer has gone bad, and Lemmy is trying to get the girl out of the building and you see all these people being drawn to the wall, wailing and swaying as though they have lost their minds.

This film again plays with sound. You could really hear the lighter opening and closing but when he is in his car cocking the gun you could not hear that. This film was almost oppressive. The fight scenes were absurd. When Caution is getting beat up in the elevator, we see him jump back and forth in the wall/men, when the fight scene takes place in the hotel, the girl sits naked in the tub, totally unaware of the huge fight taking place all around her. When he is stealing the car, we see him fight the guy trying to stop him. He grabs the guys head and closes the window on it, slow action fighting ensues, he ends up getting the guy to lay down and he runs over his head.

The film definitely mean to be funny. It pokes fun at the film noir and sci-fi genres. They are dealing with inter-galactic travel and yet drinking down a freeway/highway. the mise en scene was supposed to be advanced, the computer runs everything. Form follows function.

Again we see Goddard has an issue with a sexist attitude. All the women in the film are basically sex robots. Anna, his wife is again in this film, yet portrayed very differently than she used to be. Perhaps they had hit a rough patch in their marriage and he was less infatuated with her.

While not may favorite film it was still enjoyable. It definitely followed the form of french new wave with the constant camera movement.

the shadow patterns are very evident when Caution is questioning the man in the hall and we see the single light bulb swaying casting shadows on the wall.

Los Carabiniers

Los Carabiniers is a film by Jean-Luc Goddard. It was Goddard's fifth favorite film. It came out in 1963.

This was an interesting film, yet somewhat disturbing. The characters are almost cartoonish. One funny fact is that when the soldiers come to convince the boys to fight in the army, they say that they should fight in order to serve the King, however, France did not have a king. This film could easily be seen as a mockery of war, the boys become such bad people while fighting, doing amoral things and treating people very poorly. It could also be seen as an anti-war film.

The film is told mainly through letters (postcards) send home from a brother to his sister. There is a lot of use of text, handwritten rather than printed. There are a lot of jump cuts in this film. There is a lot of jumping ahead through cut shots, seemingly jumping several minutes ahead from where we last were.

Post cards play an important role in this film. While they are the main means of communication between characters, they are also what the brother bring home as "treasures". You watch and think that all they have brought home is pictures of things that they have seen, but in reality they are deeds to whatever is pictured on the front. Deeds to thing that they have won or stolen or gained during the war. This enforces the idea that ownership goes along with spectator ship.

Again Goddard plays with sound, loud sound effects of gun shots, fights and then there will be a spot of complete silence, at a time when you least expect it. Goddard also scorns the traditional ending, he wants to prove with this film that things do not always end up tied up and neat.

Overall, I thought this film was very interesting. I enjoyed the surprise of realizing that the postcards were in fact deeds and that the four of them had become rich, if only for a moment.

Monday, October 27, 2008


First off, it was so awesome going to a movie premier! They had security guards at the door checking for taping devices, making sure all cell phone were turned OFF.

This was an odd film. A young man, who works at a working colonial farm, is trying to find a way to make money to pay for his mom, who has dementia/alzhiemers, to stay in her nice nursing home. To make things exciting, he is a sex addict. In the very beginning of the film he goes to a sex addict meeting, but rather than attending had a quick encounter with a fellow meeting goer in the restroom.

I had to really laugh, a mom brough her four kids to this rated R movie, and ten minutes in was forced to leave, and there was so much nudity and sex taking place that I am sure her oldest child, (maybe 10) must have started asking questions.

I still, a month later dont know what I really think about this film. The main character has no morals at all. Granted the surpise twist, was a MAJOR suprise (I wont go into detail so you can still see it!) But a major twist you would never, ever have seen coming! The film was extremely graphic, maybe more so than it needed to be. It for sure was a film that made you think, and one that could be discussed for a while after coffee.

My recomendation: Go see it, don't take you kids!

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

This film was by Jacques Demy. It was his third film. He was married to Agnes Varda. He died in 1990.

This was by far my favorite film so far of the semester. i love musicals and this was a musical to the 100th degree! Every single word is sung! What a genius idea! The opening of the films says that it will be in "french, in color and in song".

This film was very anti-naturalistic. Especially with the use of colors. The most vivid and sometimes ugly colors ever imagined are used. (pink, yellow, blue, green and purple.) Often times the actors outfits will match or be the exact opposite of the wallpaper in the room they are in. The question arises 'does color have a certain meaning?" We see when the female character is at the train station her waving her blue hanky. When he comes home from war, and goes back to work at the garage, we see all dull browns, including a brown dog. It is evident that Demy wanted the colors to be significant and a major part of the film.

In a weird way this film is about everyday life. We see a woman working in an umbrella store, a place where people frequent everyday in the need of an umbrella. We see young love, and youthful romatic dreams. We see war, and the speration and pain that causes. We see an unwed mother trying to figure out her future. We see people settling for their second choices, and we see the struggle of class. The unwed mother marries a rich man to protect her future, her mother is struggling to make ends meet while refusing to give up her standard of living. The man drinks away his sorrows, until his future love saves him.

I really enjoyed this film. I thought it was extremely original and enjoyed every minute of it. I loved the extremely vivid colors and the possible hidden meanings behind them.

A woman is a Woman

This film was by Jean-Luc Godard. It stars his wife in real life Anna. It was Godard's third film, his second to be released. It is done in color and in wide screen.

The films centers around the main character, a woman. You can tell that the camera and Godard love this woman. She is clearly beautiful and the camera accents it perfectly.

There are many references to other films in this movie. (namely Jules and Jim, Shoot the piano player, Breathless and Lola). The biggest reference is when the star of Breathless, who is also in this movie, states "Breathless in on television tonight"!! You from time to time are reminded that this is a film, especially when the main character winks at the camera. In the scene in her boyfriends apartment, when she walks in and walks around he talks directly to the camera. The first words we hear in the film, is Anna saying in english, "lights, camera, action!"

Godard experiments with the fundamental elements of film. He points out again and again that the film is a process. He wants everything in the film to be noticed. The music in this film was different from many others than we have seen. This film was almost an omage to a musical. The music is very dramatic and related to hollywood fims, and is guiding us, telling us what to feel. The music is always very loud, almost too loud. There is no fading in and out of sound. It just starts loud and ends loud. This movie did use direct sound and was dubbed over again during editing.

There seems to be a color scheme in this film. We see alot of blue, white and red. Everything seems very color co-ordinated. He would rather have the colors look artifical than natural. The script of this film was semi-improvised. There are many jump-shots and quick cuts.

This film was very enjoyable. While I hate to see this type of portrayal of a woman, someone who is coniving and willing to lie to get what she wants it was still a great film. I liked how you were reminded that it was a film, and made to feel as though the actors were sometimes talking directly to you.

Shoot the Piano player

This film is by Francis Truffaut. It was his second film. We see Truffaut continue to work with young boys. This film was based on American Film Noir. It was also based on a novel. It was not popular when it came out, possibly because of how different it was (emotional rollercoaster: from funny to tragic). Truffaut was inspired to make the film from a single image he took from the book (the car in the snow).

The first person we see in the film is Chico. He is running from someone, and runs into a telephone pole. So you assume the moie is going to be about him. But the film is actually about Charlie/Edward, who is Chico's brother. (the first twist!) While we see Chico walking with stranger, who is telling him his life story, the camera uses long continous tracking shouts. We feel as if we are really walking with them. The film consists of rapid storytelling, yet we are not really interested in the sory. It almost feels like a different movie every five minutes.

There are many references to other films in the movie. One is the reference to silent films, we see the bartender greedily taking money for Charlie and Lena's address. This would have happened in a silent film. At the end of the film at the shootout, we see a reference to ganster film. What horrible shots they all are! The scene where Lena is shot and slides down the snow is quite moving as you don't expect it.

The voiceovers in the film seem to be commenting on the story and trying to tell Charlie/Edward what to do. Truffaut messes with the point of view of the story so much that is makes it almost impossible to determine who is actually narrating.

Again we are reminded that we are watching a film. When we see Lena's dead body we see the shadow of the camera. Perhaps Truffaut left it there to remind us that we were watching a film. The film is very self conscious of what it is doing while at the same time being experimental.

This film could also be broken down by how it portrays gender. We see the importance of relationships, and also the shy male lead, who is not made fun of, but featured as the protagonist. The relationships are very important to Charlie, his relationship to Lena and his neighbor prostitute.

This film was not one of my favorites. I could not help but think the whole time, if these two guys are chasing him and he had done absolutely nothing wrong, why he did not stop and confront them and explain they were in fact looking for his brother. (I am not saying he should have turned his brother in, but explained his innocence.)

Cleo from 5 to 7

This film was directed by Agnes Varda. She was the only woman among the French new wave directors. She was born in 1928. Interestingly, she just had a film play at Venice and Toronto film festivals. She was a still photographer before she became a director. Before she started making films she had only seen 20-30 films in her lifetime! (Can't believe that!!) This was her second film.

The main character is Cleo. It is very hard to emphatize with her. She seems very self involved throughout the film.The film takes place in 1962, during a "real" two hour period. In the film we see Cleo as she spends the hours between 5 and 7. She is waiting to go to the doctor to find out her test results to see if she does indeed have cancer, and if so what her treatment options are. Varda was inspired bu the painting of Death and the Maiden. The lead actress was also nspired by the same painting. Death is constantly looming over Cleo, it seems to consume her thoughts and actions.

We see Cleo try to go between her life as an actress (famous person), her own real life and the streets of Paris. When cleo goes into the cafe, she plays her own song on the jukebox, and walks around hoping someone will see her and realize it is her song playing. She gets very irritated when no one notices her or the song. She is very vain. She is quoted as saying "ugliness is a kind of death".

We are almost forced to not be at one with her, we see her documented. The film goes back and forth between the protaganist and he environment. The film is relatively fast paced, however, when Cleo enters the park the films seems to slow down. Almost as if for the first time she is calmer, maybe her thoughts are no longer racing. She rushes around to see the doctor, who spends a total of 30 seconds with her. He tells her she has cancer and will be fine with treatent.

This film was reall quite depressing. She is constantly worrying about her possible impending death, and yet that seem to be unable to stop her from being vain and self centered. I did find it very interesting and entertaining how the film took place in real time. you don't see that very often.

Hiroshima Mon Amour

This is Alain Resnais's first feature length film. It came out in 1959. Resnais had a long history of short films, and this was his first fiction film.

This film was very unusual. It stars two main characters, a french woman and a japanese man. The film is based on a 24 hour encounter that is seperate from the main characters every day life. Due to the fact that it is seperate from every day life, we are able to see more emotional extremes. His family all died during the attack on Hiroshima (he was fighting in the war), and the day he spends with her his family has gone out of town for the day. Throughout the film there is a sense of displacement, she is in Hiroshima filming a movie about peace (which we see being made, which brings us back to the reality that we are in fact watching a film). This film was made only 14 years after WWII so emotions were still strong and high.

This film had no real beginning, middle or end. It is very anti-naturalistic and very stylized. Goddard was once quoted as saying "every film must have a beginning, middle and end, just not necessarily in that order". The flashbacks in this film seem like normal flashbacks but in reality the flashbacks seem to be memories with narration over it.

The film starts with close up of their bodies inter-twined. At first you dont even understand what you are seeing. The first 15 minutes of the film consist of some shots of actual documnetary clips from the destruction of Hiroshima. The film is very focused on time and memory. When the woman begins to tell her story, she becomes confused as to whom she is telling it to, and what is happening. When she is telling us about her love, the german solider, we never see a close up of his face. When we do see his face it s covered by a shadow. This might mean that her memory has faded, which would also explain as to why as she is telling her story to the japanese man, she calls him you (refering to the german solider).

This film was constantlky twisting and turning. While very enjoyable, it was somewhat hard to follow, as you had to constantly be aware of what was story, what was true, and what was memory.

Monday, September 22, 2008


In the film Pickpocket by Robert Bresson, we focus on the main character of Michel. Michel is recently out of jail for pickpocketing, which is his hobby at the time, and goes to visit his mother who dies. He then needs to start to pick pockets as a way to survive. We see him meet some men who know how to pick pockets, and he learns some things from them.

He is at the race track and goes into a woman's purse, and also takes men's wallets. He becomes so good at his craft that he is able to pickpocket wallets on the subway. His good friends can see that he is headed down a bad path and they try to help him, but the thrill he gets from pickpocketing is too good, and so he would rather live a dishonest life than have his friends help him out.

The camera work and editing in the film are fabulous. we see several close up of Michel's hands as he goes about his pickpocketing. A particular scene is where he is practicing his pickpocketing with the man who is teaching him how to do it better. The hands move so fast, you have to pay close attention to see what all is happening.

Also, several times throughout the film, one sees a low camera angle, focused on Michel's feet as he is walking, and all you hear are the clacking noises of his shoes. A particular time this stands out to me is when he is waiting in the bank, looking for the next person to make his victim. All you hear are the hurried footsteps of Michel which is better than any musical piece Bresson could have put in there. The hurried footsteps, seem to match the quickening of Michel's heartbeat, and his adrenaline begins to surge. As the footsteps quicken, you can't help but hold your breath, or move to the edge of your seat in anticipation.

One cannot help but like this movie. While the moral of the story may not be the best, it is very entertaining. And when Michel is caught, while you feel bad for him, you also feel a sense of triumph that goodness has prevailed.

Bob Le Flambeur

This film by Jean-Pierre Melville was a great "gangster film". In many ways it fit right into the gangster genre. It was released in 1958, and filmed in 1956.

The main character Bob, is broke. So he decides to pull off a big job, of robbing a casino. He portrays the typical gangster, commanding every one's respect, being known everywhere he goes. He seems to have his own table at the local bar.

Bob is a character that many could identify with. He seems like a typical gangster, yet does things that one does not expect. For example, he clearly likes Anne, yet he never tries to sleep with her. he does however, allow her to come and stay at his apartment. He also has a prodigy named Paolo, whom he is grooming to be much like himself. Paolo likes Anne, and so Bob lets him take the lead with her, he only treats her as a friend or sister. You can however, clearly see he cares for Anne in the scene where they are dancing. He very well might like things to go further, but he cares for Paolo too much.

We see how much he cares for Paolo when at the end of the film, Paolo is killed. Bob runs out of the casino and lays Paolo's head in his lap, while he quickly grieves for him. Bob is sad that Paolo had to die, especially when he realizes that if he had shown up when he was supposed to Paolo's death may have been avoided.

The night of the "job" Bob goes to the casino ahead of time to scope things out. While there luck has another plan for Bob. he decides to gamble and wins a fortune, basically all that was in the casino's vaults (therefore defeating the point of the heist.)

Clearly this film was very influential. As in Breathless, when Michele is trying to get his check cashed, he is told that if Bob the gambler wasn't in prison, he would cash it.

This film was enjoyable all the way through. One could get lost in the gangster genre very quickly, as you never know what will happen next.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Breathless by Jean-Luc Godard is an interesting film. This film was very influential, many other directors have mimicked it. (Quintin Tarrantino was a big fan.) Godard was very much influenced by Humphrey Bogart, and you can see many references to Humprhey and his films.

This film was very influential in part because of jump shots or jump cuts, in which there is a lapse in continuity. Also, Godard violated the 180 degree rule. This film alludes to the crime/gangster drama.

The characters in this film, especially Michel are influenced by the films that they see. In one scene we see where Michel sees a poster of Humprhey Bogart, and he mimics what Humprhey does. he runs his fingers around his lips, and he chain smokes as does Humphrey Bogart in many of his films.

This film talks about love in a very abstract way. You often question why the characters are doing the things that they do. Why does Michel lie about everything? Why does Patricia believe him? (who has a different car every time you see them?) We are able to see the impact that media has had on every day life. Patricia sells the paper, and again the above reference to the movies. Also, you see people buying papers all the time, Michel always does to stay current on his warrant for arrest. We see signs lit up above buildings with breaking news.

This film strongly reminded my of The Maltese Falcon by John Huston. That too was a crime film, but the strongest similarity to me was that a loved one was turned in to the police by a lover. In The Maltese Falcon, Sam turns in Brigid even though he is in love with her. In Breathless Patricia turns in Michel, her reasoning is that she needed to see if she did actually love him, and her answer was that no she did not, if she was able to turn him in. However, after she calls the inspector she seems to feel some remorse, as she tells him and tries to convince him to flee from the cops.

This film, I imagine would have been very exciting in it's day. With it's playing with the crime genre, the use of media and movie influence on the characters lives, this would have been a new idea and probably could have made a viewer quite breathless!

The Cousins

The film The Cousins by Claude Chabrol is a tale of two young men, both trying to find their place in the world. Chabrol made this film when he inherited some money. At the time this film was made (1959) in France the average film cost about $300,00 American dollars to make it. This film was made for about $60,000 American dollars. Chabrol is often compared to Hitchcock, as many of his films are psychological thrillers. Chabrol is still making films today.

The film centers around two main characters, Charles and Paul. The other important character is Florence. Charles has come to Paris to study law, and he will be staying with his free-spirited, slight arrogant cousin Paul. Paul also is studying law, though one would never guess this by Paul's behavior. In the film Paul is cool and suave, and Charles is always trying to catch up with Paul, while still being his own person.

There is a lot of foreshadowing in this film. When Charles is studying the night before his exam, he sends Florence (the woman with whom he is in love) away. As she leaves, the camera spins around the room, like Charles is spinning out of control. This is one of the moments when you can see that Charles would like to be having fun and being carefree with Paul. Instead Charles spends the night studying, while Paul throws a party celebrating his passing of the exam, which he did not preparing for. When Charles fails the exam, he takes out his anger on Paul. The jealousy becomes too much. We again see foreshadowing when we always see Paul with the gun, you just know something is going to go wrong eventually. We see foreshadowing again, when Charles puts one bullet in the gun, goes into Paul's bedroom, while Paul is sleeping, and asks the question "will he still be lucky?" And Paul is, unfortunately Charles is not. Later that morning, as Paul is again playing with a gun (who plays with a gun, only someone extremely arrogant!) a shot is fired, and Charles is killed.

You feel no empathy for any of the characters is the film. You see Paul as spoiled and arrogant, doing things he should not, and living a lifestyle he should not be living. You see Charles, and while one might want to feel empathy for him, there is plenty which will discourage. My favorite, is when Charles finds out that Paul and Florence are together, and they are all going to be living together, his response is "I'll get my turn!" ugh!!!

Also, I felt nothing but contempt for Florence. Here is a woman who lets someone tell her who should she love. She thinks she is falling for Charles, so she tells Paul and Clovis, and they both tell her, that she needs to be in love with Paul instead, and so she just agrees! She touches his face, and suddenly they are in love! Ridiculous!

This film tries to stress the importance of conformity. Everyone being the same, whether it is the right way to be or not. Charles is always trying to fit in with Paul's crowd, Florence is trying to make everyone happy, herself last, and Paul is living the swinging lifestyle that he thinks is cool. Conformity is not the answer.

The 400 Blows

In the 400 blows by Francois Truffaut, we see the story of an young boy, a teenager who becomes reckless in his behavior. This was Truffaut's first feature film, and it came out in 1959. The film won best director award at the Cannes film festival. The film was dedicated to Andre Bazin who had a major influence over french new wave directors.

The film is very much autobiographic. The story is based on Truffaut's own life as a young boy. We see a boy, named Antoine who lives with his parents who seem to care very little about his moral upbringing. We see the Father, always making jokes with Antoine, sometimes even jokes at his mother's expense. When the mother goes to bring in the dinner, the father tells Antoine to ask why it smells like a dishrag is burning. We see the Mother who is constantly annoyed by the son, he always seems to be in her way. The only time her attitude is drastically different is after Antoine sees his mother kissing another man. She then tries to bribe him into keeping her secret, by offering money.

One could delve deeply into the Freudian relationship between Antoine and his mother. We see a scene where he sees her taking of her stocking, and this scene is much too erotic for a mother and son. We also have the father asking the son, what he thinks about his mother looks/body? What teenage boy would want to be asked that, let alone receive that visual?!?The film does not end neatly and this annoyed me. Antoine runs to the lake/ocean, but then what happens? We do not know. To some this might seem like a nice open ending, where you can imagine whatever you want, but after learning that the actor (Jean-Pierre LĂ©aud) who plays Antoine goes on to play the same character in other films, the ending seems to make much more sense. This film gives a good example of a juvenile delinquent whose parents are too self-absorbed to see what is happening to their child.