Antoine and Colette
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Antoine and Colette is the second film — a short — in François Truffaut's series about Antoine Doinel, the character he follows from boyhood to adulthood through five films. The film was made for the 1962 anthology collection, Love at Twenty, which featured shorts from the renowned directors Shintarô Ishihara, Marcel Ophüls, Renzo Rossellini and Andrzej Wajda, as well as Truffaut.
Antoine Doinel — and Jean-Pierre Léaud, the actor who played him throughout all five films — had made his screen debut in 1959 with Truffaut's first film, The 400 Blows. Truffaut's tender, semi-autobiographical film about the young Antoine and his gradual descent into petty crime introduced the world to the French New Wave, a short-lived but highly influential outpouring of work from young French filmmakers including Jean-Luc Godard, Claude Chabrol, and Éric Rohmer.
Antoine and Colette catches up with Antoine Doinel as a solitary 17-year-old who works at Phillips manufacturing LPs to support himself. He lives in furnished room by himself in Place Clichy, listening to opera and classical music and spending time with René (Patrick Auffay), his school friend from The 400 Blows.
One day, while attending a Berlioz Music Programme with René, he spots Colette, a secondary school student, and falls in love for the first time.
Colette is his own age, but unlike Antoine has a warm, supportive family with whom she still lives. Antoine forms a strong friendship with Colette and, eventually, also her parents who begin to treat him as if he were a part of their family.
Colette's feelings for Antoine are at first ambiguous and, harboring some hope that she might grow to return them, he leaves his apartment at the Place Clichy and moves into an apartment across the road from her family's. Although she continues to treat him kindly, it slowly becomes apparent that she is not interested in him romantically. He sulks about this and at first refuses to see her, but he is lured back by a dinner invitation. It is clear that her family still consider him a surrogate son and are possibly hoping for something romantic to happen between the two teenagers.
All of these hopes are dashed, however, when the pretty Colette is met at the front door by an older man. Her parents and Antoine look helplessly on as she disappears off with her date. They are all left to watch television. Doinel's adventures follow with Stolen Kisses, Bed and Board and Love on the Run.