Expressing the Move

  • MUBI
Figure 1: The 400 Blows.

"In my view, the concept [the move] does not refer to the literal, physical movements of either the performers or the camera (although it can include these elements). It does not necessarily involve powerfully dramatic (or comic) large-scale alterations in plot. It does not have to entail any grand-slam subversion of social, ideological or cultural conventions. But something, in a filmic move, will indeed have to shift, perhaps gently, but tellingly so."

Adrian Martin (2010: 23) [my emphasis]

Before being frozen, framed and immortalized in the static final shot of Les quatre cents coups (1959), Antoine Doinel undergoes its antithesis—a sequence of camera movements that re-frames, follows and foregrounds his actions. Escaping the juvenile delinquent centre, the character runs on a rugged country road, the destination of which neither he nor we know; the camera tracks the dash laterally in a medium shot. Visualizing his exuberance, Antoine performs a childlike half-run,
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