Category Archives: les quatre cents coups

The 400 Blows (Les quatre cents coups)

The Original Poster for The 400 Blows

It may seem strange that an eight or nine year old girl’s two memorable fictional icons are Eloise and Antoine Doinel the boy in les quatre cents coups (The 400 Blows) but there you are — my childhood in New York was not usual or often appropriate.  I do not remember the year exactly (’68, or ’69) that my stepfather rented Andy Warhol’s house in South Hampton but I do remember that in addition to whip cream fights and swimming and other exercises to introduce Robbie and me to his children from his first marriage, he showed a series of Truffaut movies on a screen in the living room.  Mother and Oliver’s relationship was already quite volatile and would get much worse, end and then get better but I remember watching the troubled Antoine as he listened to his mother and stepfather fight and feeling that I knew how he felt.  The film ends with a freeze-frame of his face at the beach and it stuck with me through that summer and forever — even as I finished the final scene of Chanel.