Jean-Pierre Léaud, Claude Jade, Delphine Seyrig, Michel Lonsdale,
Everyone loves a dreamer, and Paris, and life, and so Stolen Kisses turns to that archetypical Parisian dreamer, Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre Léaud), as he darts around the City of Light looking for love and livelihood. Dishonorably discharged from the army as “temperamentally unfit,” Doinel briskly mows through a succession of odd jobs—TV repairman, hotel night clerk, detective—and discovers he’s terrible at them all, but quite good at walking aimlessly around the city and falling in love, either with the kind-hearted violinist Christine (Claude Jade) or with the barely married Fabienne (Delphine Seyrig). “Quite simply a film that hopes to resemble a song” (Truffaut), Stolen Kisses is dedicated to Henri Langlois of the Cinémathèque Française, and was filmed during the tumultuous 1968 political protests triggered by Langlois’s firing. As Truffaut noted, though, Léaud/Doinel is no heroic political revolutionary: “He doesn’t revolt against society; he just doesn’t fit into it.”
Antoine and Colette
François Truffaut, France, 1962
Originally part of an omnibus work called Love at Twenty, Truffaut and Léaud’s first look-in at a (nearly) adult Antoine Doinel finds our luckless hero living on his own in Paris, with a job as a record clerk and a passion for music and girls.