Antoine Et Colette

I guess I fell in love with Marie-France Pisier the first time I saw François Truffaut’s Antoine Et Colette.

Originally posted by romantic-nostalgia

Originally posted by francoisrolandtruffaut

See? How could you not? Plus, she had the exoticism of being an older lady… I must have been around 16 when I saw it and she’s 18 there.

Such beauty:

It was only years later, when I watched the whole Doinel Cycle together that I realised she reprised her Colette role in Baisers volés and L’amour en fuite.

Here she is in that last film documenting the (mis)adventures of Truffaut’s alter-ego, Doinel:

Still having to put up with Antoine’s bullshit, still glowingly beautiful.

Obviously, everyone talks about Leaud and Truffaut when they talk about the Doinel films. But consider the way Truffaut managed to get actors the calibre of Pisier to return to characters they first played nearly two decades ago. That continuity, that thread of absolute realism is surely another part of why these films stand the the test of time and why we still find these lovers and their quandaries so engaging all these decades later.

And if you haven’t ever seen any Truffaut, I can think of no finer place to start than the Doinel Cycle:

Or, in English:

The 400 Blows

Truffaut’s debut was the film The 400 Blows. The 1959 film introduces us to the 12-year-old Doinel, who runs away, eventually turning to street life and petty crime in response to neglect at home. Towards the end of the film, he is sent to a reform school, from which he escapes.

Antoine and Colette

The next appearance of Doinel was in the film short Antoine and Colette, which was part of the 1962 omnibus film L’amour à vingt ans. Doinel becomes obsessed by Colette but she only wants to be friends.

Stolen Kisses

In the third installment, Stolen Kisses (1968), a more mature Doinel attempts to return to civilian life after a dishonourable discharge from the military. His romantic forays are rocky with Christine (Claude Jade), and then his boss’s wife (Delphine Seyrig as Fabienne Tabard).

Bed and Board

In 1970, Doinel and Christine have married in Bed and Board, but Doinel suddenly becomes obsessed with a young Japanese woman (Hiroko Berghauer).

Love on the Run

Doinel’s adventures come to a close in 1979’s Love on the Run, where his romantic attentions pass from his ex-wife Christine to disc-seller Sabine Barnerias (Dorothée).

In each film, flashbacks to Doinel’s earlier life consist of footage from the previous films.


Check them out. If you’ve ever loved and lost, been a fool, been fooled or done hideously embarrassing things in front of people you fancy way too much… I think you’ll love these films as much as I do.