The 400 blows

to adapt & stage

Let me warn you right away – today, everything is bad and nothing is right.

Especially me.

It’s pretty usual, I know.

Here I am, engaged in not one, but two desecrations in one go.

First desecration: the cult work.

The 400 Blows is literally -for any self-respecting Frenchman- a major work, that we watch through a wet veil of admiration, that some learn the cult lines and that we pass on from parents to children – in short, an ultimate treasure of cinema.

A masterpiece.

Not a work.

A masterpiece.

You know, the kind of work that no one ever touches again.

Of course, nobody watches it anymore either.

So it dies.

But oulala lala lalo

it dies but it’s honored beyond belief, you know.

And so, as it annoys me horribly, this uncultured and stupid respect, paf, I shoot in the respect and I put myself in head to take again this work.

So here I am, crossing the second red line without any remorse: hop the film overboard, I am only interested in the text – the scenario if you prefer.

Here is the cult work :

& please, notice that the English have respected the cult – no voice dubbing.

It’s touching, the respect, don’t you think?

All that being said, admitted, and all and without apology on my part – here is what interests me: the story and its characters.

It affects children

Heavens! Another red line !!!! that makes three.

The 400 Blows tells the story of children who are children, so they are not “good”, angels or that kind of stupid lie .

They don’t pay attention.

They judge their parents harshly.

They don’t care about their future.

They are bored to death in the classroom.

They are not so afraid to lie, cheat, hit, steal, run around – and oh boy! – don’t see the harm in it.

The beam in the eye of the adults, on the other hand, they see it very well.

Basically, that’s what this film is about: real children.

The ones who want to run out of breath.

The ones who dive right in and never mind the ears.

The ones who do something stupid because it’s forbidden.

Those who are dented from head to toe and are very annoyed afterwards.

Those who scare the adults.

The ones who make their moms cry

The ones that “common sense” is nowadays filling with drugs to calm them down – 4th red line, it’s going bad, ma’am, it’s going bad – a little painkiller?

In short – a scenario and a film that tells the real children.

This is what – in my opinion despite my 4 crossed lines – gives value to this text.

Which therefore deserves to be adapted for the stage.

Ah! the revenge of the dinosaur – yes yes, films die when plays remain…

aïe – 5th line – it’s time for me to leave

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Featured Image : from Les 400 coups – by François Truffaut – 1959

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