Close Up

1 - 29 April 2018: Take Two: Zero for Conduct / The 400 Blows


Zero for Conduct
Jean Vigo
1933 | 44 min | B/W | 35mm
French with English subtitles

“So effervescent and charming that one can easily forget its importance in film history, Jean Vigo’s enormously influential portrait of prankish boarding-school students is one of cinema’s great acts of rebellion. Based on the director’s own experiences as a youth, Zéro de conduite presents childhood as a time of unfettered imagination and brazen rule-flouting. It’s a sweet-natured vision of sabotage made vivid by dynamic visual experiment – including the famous, blissful slow-motion pillow fight.” – Janus Films

The 400 Blows
François Truffaut
1959 | 99 min | B/W | 35mm
French with English subtitles

François Truffaut’s first feature is also his most personal. Told from the point of view of Truffaut’s cinematic counterpart, Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre Léaud), The 400 Blows (Les quatre cents coups) sensitively re-creates the trials of Truffaut’s own childhood, unsentimentally portraying aloof parents, oppressive teachers, and petty crime. The film marked Truffaut’s passage from leading critic to trailblazing auteur of the French New Wave.” – Janus Films

Part of our essential cinema programme