Sunday 1 March 2015

Stolen Kisses [1968]

Stolen Kisses was the 3rd installment in ‘The Adventures of Antoine Doinel’, sandwiched between Antoine et Colette and Bed and Board, and also the most lighthearted of the lot. The breezy, playful and delectable romantic comedy comprised of an abstract and freewheeling storyline, with the narrative changing directions regularly, and was filled with whimsical humour and zany developments. Doinel (Jean-Pierre Léaud at his most deadpan comic), at his most irreverent and picaresque, has just been dishonorably discharged from the army after being in and out of military prison for chronic disregard of authority, upon which he seeks to rekindle his tentative relationship with the demure and lovely Christine (Claude Jade); interestingly, as in the earlier short, he has excellent relationship with her parents (Daniel Ceccaldi and Claire Duhamel), but fortunately has better luck with the lady this time around. Meanwhile, he moves from one idiosyncratic job to another with ludicrous regularity – he starts out as a naïve night clerk at a small hotel, then moves on to being hired as a bumbling private detective during which time he is briefly doubles as a shoe-store stock boy, and finally ends as an ineffectual TV repair man. In the film’s most tonally lyrical section, Antoine becomes drawn to and has a brief fling with a seductive and attractive married woman (Delphine Seyrig), who’s much older to her, in possibly a nod to Mike Nichols’ The Graduate. The romantic escapades and professional misadventures, which ended with a hilarious non-sequitur climax, underscored Truffaut’s social and personal observations. The film was dedicated to Henri Langlois, but amusingly, the Langlois Affair featured only as passing references that Antoine is glibly oblivious of.

Director: Francois Truffaut
Genre: Comedy/Romantic Comedy/Urban Comedy
Language: French
Country: France

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