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Les 400 coups

les 400 coups, truffaut, a level french, film

Les 400 coups-François Truffaut


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When the film Les 400 coups hit the Cannes festival in 1959, the dreams of a young cinema fanatic were finally realized. The young Truffaut's childhood, like that of the main character was steeped in love for this art form; he eventually set up a ciné club (which failed) before being taken under the wing of the renowned critic and founder of the influential Cahiers du Cinéma, André Bazin. He like several other future directors such as Jean-Luc Godard became out-spoken critics of the cinema of the day, the so-called cinéma de qualité. They aspired to producing films which did not subserviently depend on the reproduction of successful books and to get out of the studio; this was to culminate in the Nouvelle Vague of which Les 400 coups was to be an example.

Shot on a small budget subsidized by his wife's father the film was at least partly biographical; Truffaut had been an unwanted child and grew up with his grand-parents and we join the film as cracks in the parent/step-parent/child relationship begin to appear. The portrayal of the harshness of education at the time and straitened circumstances contrast starkly with today's in many ways more liberal society; where the film excels is in showing the young people asserting their individuality and breaking away from the everyday constraints, in much the same way as Truffaut was trying to do filmically.

Tense, bitter scenes alternate with whimsical, humorous ones with a lilting musical score binding the whole together to create a classic coming of age film with its memorable ending.

Les 400 coups is a fascinating film to study with its portrayal of the clash between youthful deviation and authority, whether it be parental, school or the more formal police setting.













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Contents of the unit

What's in the unit?
Detailed dictated version of script
Detailed gapped summary of the film
Detailed questions (coming soon)
Character profile guide (translation to and from French
Direct/Indirect speech activity
Contextualized grammar
A factor-present participle, passive, subjunctive
Multiple tense guide (Tensinator)
Essay planning tool with sample essay
Sample essay based on plan
Useful links

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To find out more about this title and to purchase by paypal/card please follow this link to my new DOLANGUAGES site which combines French, German and Spanish resources in one place. Go to the page for this title now


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