I’ve been brushing up on my cinematic history lately and was very glad to see Baisers Volés (Stolen Kisses), which is part of François Truffaut’s Antoine Doinel series with the actor Jean-Pierre Léaud. It’s light and fun and follows Doinel through a series of jobs and romantic entanglements. There is a wonderful improvisational feeling to the whole film as it moves along. Léaud is very watchable and is filled with nervous energy. Much of the enjoyment is watching him walk and move and squirm. It’s a film that is light on plot and I loved seeing Antoine Doinel work as a private detective. He’s not good at his job (he’s not really sure what he wants) the work is really just a way to put him in to different situations. It’s nice to see a film that is light and funny done with skill.
The DVD is part of the Criterion Collection’s The Adventures of Antoine Doinel and it has a few features on the disc that provide more context for the film. While the film is a light comedy, the situation in France in 1968 was completely different with the events of May 1968 and the uproar and the firing of Henri Langlois at the Cinémathèque Français. Baisers Volés begins with a shot of the front of the Cinémathèque and the camera then moves over to the military jail where we see Antoine Doinel. One of the extras on the disc is a newsreel of Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard calling for the Cannes Film Festival to be cancelled (which it was). There is also an exerpt from an interview where Truffaut talks about Baisers Volés and explains how it was written and dissects a scene. Now I have to catch up on Truffaut’s other films.