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Studying French Cinema$
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Sarah Perks, Isabelle Vanderschelden, and Andy Willis

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781906733162

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781906733162.001.0001

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François Truffaut: An Auteur’s Representation of Childhood

François Truffaut: An Auteur’s Representation of Childhood

(p.23) Chapter One: François Truffaut: An Auteur’s Representation of Childhood
Studying French Cinema

Isabelle Vanderschelden

Liverpool University Press

This chapter discusses François Truffaut, who occupies a major place in French film history and its tradition of auteur cinema. He is remembered by many as the ring-leader of the New Wave, a man who expressed his personal vision of the world, often through an alter ego recurrent character: Antoine Doinel. Truffaut, who started his professional career as a film critic in the 1950s, is also closely associated with the development of the 'Politique des auteurs', a significant theoretical critical framework that helps us to understand French art cinema and other forms of film-making since the 1950s. The chapter focuses mainly on two childhood films, Les 400 coups/The 400 Blows (1959) and L'Argent de poche/Pocket Money (UK)/Small Change (US) (1976), made at different moments in his career. This choice enables a comparative analysis of themes and motifs and provides an insight into the evolution of the film-maker's work and style after the New Wave, in terms of both continuity and change.

Keywords:   François Truffaut, French film history, auteur cinema, French New Wave, Antoine Doinel, French art cinema, French film-making, childhood films

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