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The 400 Blows (Les quatre cents coups) Single Film Study

James Clarke | Wednesday May 23, 2018

Categories: A Level, OCR A Level, Analysis, Film Analysis, Films & Case Studies, Directors, Francois Truffaut, European Cinema, The 400 Blows (Les quatre cents coups), Genres & Case Studies, Avant-Garde, Crime, Drama, French New Wave

YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdXTtX_cz3s

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OCR Film Studies Paper 1

Section B: European Cinema History

This section focuses upon the study of at least two major European movements or stylistic developments in film history, characterised by the significant contribution they made and continue to make to film aesthetics. Learners must study one compulsory, distinctly experimental film movement (surrealist film) and one other film movement from a choice of two:

Experimental film – European surrealist film

  • Un Chien Andalou: Silent film (Bunuel and Dali, 1929) (Coming soon)

French New Wave

  • The 400 Blows (Les quatre cents coups) (Truffaut, 1959)

Other European film movements or stylistic developments

Edusites content TBC

German expressionism

Edusites content TBC

Introduction

In studying a film that is widely regarded as a ‘classic’, there’s typically find a wealth of discourse about it and The 400 Blows directed by Francois Truffaut is exemplary in this regard. Francois Truffaut seeks to take a new approach to filmmaking in terms of subject and style.

Before we consider the film specifically, let’s lay out some foundational concerns.

Contexts

Every film reflects the concerns of its time, the particular way of looking at the world in that culture, that society, that time. To fully understand a film, you need to know something of the era that spawned it. As you will have already considered in your Edusites Core Units, film is very much a cultural artifact, a reflection of the society that created and watched it. Each film is influenced by all of the films that have gone before it – the collective consciousness of how we ‘look’ at...


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