Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Antoine and Colette

Written and directed by Francois Truffaut, Antoine et Colette is the second part of the Antoine Doinel story as it explores Antoine’s relationship with a young, icy woman named Colette. The short was part of an anthology film Truffaut participated in called Love at Twenty as the short explores the world of young love with Jean-Pierre Leaud reprises the role of Doinel. Also starring Patrick Auffay and Marie-France Pisier. Antoine et Colette is an extraordinary short from Francois Truffaut.

The film is the story of Antoine Doinel pursuing a secondary student named Colette (Marie-France Pisier) as he met at an orchestral concert with his friend Rene (Patrick Auffay). Antoine and Colette become friends as she introduces him to her stepfather (Francois Darbon) and mother (Rosy Varte) as they take him in. Though Antoine enjoys his time with Colette and her family, he wonders why Colette isn’t responding to him as things eventually become complicated. It’s a love story of sorts about a boy trying to win the heart of this girl but for some reason, she doesn’t respond to his attempts to woo her. She thinks he’s a nice guy but the sad part of it is that she just wants to be friends.

What Francois Truffaut creates is a story about a boy who falls in love for the very first time as he also deals with heartbreak as it’s also a coming of age story of sorts. With narration by Henri Serre, the film explores the evolution of Antoine’s relationship with Colette and how it would play into his perspective on love. Truffaut’s direction is very stylish in terms of its compositions from the use of framing montages and shooting on locations to the wide shots he use to capture the scenes in the concert halls and the apartments where Antoine lives across from Colette’s family. Even as he uses flashbacks to help reveal some of Antoine’s past while the narration helps establish what Antoine is dealing with. Overall, Truffaut creates a very captivating film on the world of love.

Cinematographer Raoul Coutard does brilliant work with the black-and-white photography to capture the look of Paris as well as some of the interiors in the locations that Doinel goes to. Editor Claudine Bouche does excellent work with the editing to create an array of stylish cuts to play with the film‘s rhythm. The film’s music by Georges Delerue is wonderful for its serene yet playful score while the rest of the music soundtrack features an array of classical and opera music that helps drive the relationship between Antoine and Colette.

The ensemble cast features an array of terrific appearances from Pierre Schaeffer as himself in the lecture scenes, Francois Darbon and Rosy Varte as Colette’s family, and Patrick Auffay reprising his role as Antoine’s best friend Rene. Marie-France Pisier is great as the ambiguous Colette who treats Antoine very kindly around people but when they’re alone, she’s very cold about him as she is more interested in being a friend. Finally, there’s Jean-Pierre Leaud in an incredible performance as Antoine Doinel as he makes Doinel a more mature, determined figure that is getting his life in control except in the ways of love as Leaud still makes Doinel a young man still trying to find his way around the world.

Antoine et Colette is a marvelous short from Francois Truffaut that features superb performances from Jean-Pierre Leaud and Marie-France Pisier. It is among one of Truffaut’s finest works as well as a great follow-up to The 400 Blows as it continues the story of Antoine Doinel. In the end, Antoine et Colette is a must-see short for fans of the French New Wave and Francois Truffaut.

Francois Truffaut Films: The 400 Blows - Shoot the Piano Player - Jules & Jim - The Soft Skin - Fahrenheit 451 - The Bride Wore Black - Stolen Kisses - Mississippi Mermaid - The Wild Child - Bed and Board - Two English Girls - Such a Gorgeous Kid Like Me - Day for Night - The Story of Adele H. - Small Change - The Man Who Loved Women - The Green Room - Love on the Run - The Last Metro - The Woman Next Door - Confidentially Yours

(The Auteurs #40: Francois Truffaut: (Pt. 1) - (Pt. 2))

© thevoid99 2012

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