Sunday, July 11, 2010

Bed And Board

"Bed And Board" is the fourth installment in the great Antoine Doinel (played by a maturing Jean-Pierre Leaud) film series, directed by Francois Truffaut. This film is really almost as perfect as it's predecessor "Stolen Kisses", and (in ways) almost a sort of remake, using the same characters and similar situations. The story begins with a newly weded Antoine, who works as a flower dyer, while his wife teaches musical lessons. Again, Antoine goes through his life trying to find his occupational and romantic nitch. His occupational endeavors consist of becomming the guy who electronically maneuvers model boats at an American corporation. His wife soon is pregnant with his baby boy, and the idealistic domestication becomes shakey, as Antoine begins an affair with a Japanese girl named Kyoko (played by Hiroko Berghauser). What is somewhat interesting, is the French purest attitude (or small town mind set) that seems to take place in the film. The owner of the American corporation is played by American actor Billy Kearns (can be seen playing Freddie Miles in "Purple Noon") and he's the stereotypical baffoon American. Japanese girlfriend Kyoko, is the quiet reserved Asian that thinks of romantic suicidal notions for Antoine and herself. Another outsider (who everyone in the Parisian village is afraid of, until he's found out to be a comedian/ impersonator and NOT a strangler) is treated with contempt until it has been established through media/ television performance spoken in French. But it seems that Antoine and Christine's happiness is being constantly pulled at, by French outsiders. But I suppose this is what Antoine would like us to think. Still the character who (accidently) lies and cheats his way through life. This is a far more cynical version of love, compared to "Stolen Kisses", yet all the more relevent in it's depiction of growing love pains.

The Antoine we see here is more emotionally lonesome than he ever was, yet he's married and has a kid. It still contains some of the greatest romantic moments in cinema history though. The scene where Antoine asks Christine to put her glasses on (one more time) is beautiful. Also the reversal situation of fetching wine from the wine celler, will put smiles on the faces of anyone who'd seen a similar scene as this in "Stolen Kisses". Though Antoine may not be as innocent as he once was in the earlier films, his Antoine is a far more realistic portrayel of men in general. This is truly another wonderful film by Truffaut, that would be as great as "Stolen Kisses" if it had retained some of the innocence.

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