zerode – a sensibility


film, music, text, city, spectacle, pleasure

Song of the Day: “Foux du Fafa” by Flight of the Conchords

In honor of all the French accents heard around San Francisco this last week…

Flight of the Conchords, “Foux du Fafa” – from Flight Of The Conchords

Okay, that’s perhaps not entirely fair to the French visitors here in San Francisco, who make the place seem a bit more classy somehow.  So maybe…

Françoise Hardy, “Soir De Gala” – from Tant De Belles Choses

Filed under: Song of the Day, ,

Truffaut’s “The 400 Blows”


is showing tonight and tomorrow at the Red Vic…

Dir. Francois Truffaut (France, 1959)

Perhaps the most purely heartfelt yet thoroughly satisfying of French New Wave Projects, The 400 Blows was also the first commercial success of the genre, and remains the most endearing and universally popular. It is quite probably the most truthful, unflinching yet affirming depiction of male adolescence, juvenile delinquency and troubled youth ever put on celluloid. Truffaut held hard to the tough reality and gives it to us straight, making those rare moments of human, existential beauty all the more heartbreaking. (subtitled; 99m) (via RED VIC MOVIE HOUSE.)

This is a chance to see a movie that is deeply indebted to a love of movies at a movie theater reflecting the same love. And you should always avail yourself of opportunities to see great movies in actual theaters…

The movie that ushered in the French New Wave, and in many ways modern cinema, The 400 Blows was Truffaut’s first film (what an amazing debut!) and it reflects something of his own childhood and of the way that cinema saved his life. Though there are only a few moments when the movies appear within the story of the film, Truffaut’s powerful and intelligent love of film is there in every frame. It includes a homage to another great film of childhood and rebellion, Jean Vigo’s Zero de Conduite – repeating the great sequence in which students being led through Paris peel away from their class, one by one.

Roger Ebert provides an excellent introduction to The 400 Blows as one of the “great movies” featured on his website:

Francois Truffaut’s “The 400 Blows” (1959) is one of the most intensely touching stories ever made about a young adolescent. Inspired by Truffaut’s own early life, it shows a resourceful boy growing up in Paris and apparently dashing headlong into a life of crime. Adults see him as a troublemaker. We are allowed to share some of his private moments, as when he lights a candle before a little shrine to Balzac in his bedroom. The film’s famous final shot, a zoom in to a freeze frame, shows him looking directly into the camera. He has just run away from a house of detention, and is on the beach, caught between land and water, between past and future. It is the first time he has seen the sea…

read the rest of the article at: The 400 Blows :: :: Great Movies.

Filed under: Movies, ,



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zerode by nick chapman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Oh—and hello to Jason Isaacs.

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The 400 Blows


is an over-caffeinated and under-employed grad school dropout, aspiring leftwing intellectual and cultural studies academic, cinéaste, and former poet. Raised in San Francisco on classic film, radical politics, burritos and soul music, then set loose upon the world. He spends his time in coffee shops with his laptop and headphones, caffeinating and trying to construct a post-whatever life.


What's in a name... The handle "zerode" is a contraction of Zéro de Conduite, the title of Jean Vigo's 1933 movie masterpiece about schoolboy rebellion.



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