Love on the Run (1979)
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Here, all the women of Doinel's life appears together and now he has a chance to figure out why his relationships simply doesn't work. Recently divorced of Christine (Claude Jade), and involved with no good terms with Sabine, Doinel meets again Colette (Marie-France Pisier), his first love and they share some secrets, remember some moments when they two met for the first time, and both characters discover more things about each other, about life and about love.
At the trivia section is mentioned that Truffaut thought about making a huge mistake while filming this sequel, and I think he shouldn't be ashamed of it. It isn't much of a film since half of it it's flashbacks taken from all of Doinel's films plus a few moments of "Le Nuit Americaine" included as an interesting subplot of Doinel's romantic affairs (even though he plays a different character in that film). Compared to the other movies of the series this is less comical, a little bit too serious and it's more focused on how the kid that seems to never grow finally realizes what love really is than his amusing and funny life experiences as a working man.
But seeing all the flashbacks, those memorable moments covering 20 years of a person is breathtaking, refreshing, unique in all motion picture history. We can look back and see how much Antoine/Léaud changed through these years and some of us practically saw him growing up and I bet Truffaut must have loved this experience, seeing someone he could relate with and share some of his own experiences and see them portrayed on screen. One of the most touching moments of "Love on the Run" is the reunion between Doinel and the lover of his mother, whom he haven't seen in years, and the way they talk about the past, we see scenes from "The 400 Blows" when Doinel was a kid and saw him with his mother, and he hated the guy for it, then few years later they are happy to see each other, a bond between Doinel's troubled life and his life while a grown up man.
Most of the reviews on this classic are very superficial here. "Love on the Run" is a memorable, delightful and magic experience through great moments of one of the most interesting, inspiring and charming characters of all time, and this is his goodbye to us, always striving, always fighting, always believing in something and always managing to get what he wants even though we as audience might think he'll be lost forever. Doinel echoes a part of us that never should die: our youth. 10/10
"L'Amour en Fuite" is the conclusion of the sentimental saga of the character Antoine Doinel, the insecure alter ego of François Truffaut that began in "Les Quatre Cents Coups" and followed through "L'Amour à Vingt Ans", "Baisers Volés" and "Domicile Conjugal", inclusive with the use of scenes in the many flashbacks of these movies with his recollections and troubled love affairs. This character has an evolution from the needy fourteen years old boy rejected by his mother and his stepfather in the first movie. The lack of affection at home makes him a rebel, bad student, liar, reckless and a thief stealing objects and money at home in his adolescence. In the next movies, he grows-up, but with a fragile emotional structure and the viewer sees an unstable man incapable of having a steady relationship or commitment with the many beautiful women that he meets along his futile life. My vote is seven.
Title (Brazil): "O Amor em Fuga" ("The Love on the Run")
This particular stylistic device does set up a sense of familiarity for new viewers, however; with such a slight plot, the flashbacks end up becoming the most interesting part of the movie, with what little new footage there is so repetitive that it feels like you're watching the same scene over and over again. In fact, the film is so hastily put together that it looks like Truffaut is desperate to get the series finished and out of the way, so that he can finally move on with the more progressive work that he was attempting with films like The Green Room (1979) and The Last Metro (1980).
Still, the film can sometimes be charming and the actors are all on fine form, but the whole thing seems lacking somewhat; with the use of repeated imagery and scenes cut and pasted from the previous films making this feel too much like a retread rather than a radical re-interpretation. For me, the film just seems empty, deflated and somehow lacking the allure, beauty and sophistication that was always synonymous with Truffaut's work or at least the films of his that I am familiar with. For me, Love on the Run was something of a slight, disappointing and unimaginative film that failed to inspire me in the way I had initially hoped.
In The 400 Blows, Antoine struggled with finding his place in the world as an adolescent and the relationship with his parents. In Antoine and Colette he found the pitfalls associated with love, a trend that would continue in Stolen Kisses and Bed and Board. Love on the Run is brilliantly done in the way that it incorporates all of these details via flashbacks and sequences designed to remind the audience of characters seen in previous films. Truffaut carefully edits these scenes in such a way as to appear as nostalgic memories as well as to aid along the audience in understanding the reasons and consequences of these characters' actions.
Once again, this story focuses mainly on Antoine's ability (or inability) to have a relationship with a woman only for nearly everything to go wrong. Truffaut wisely brought back the two most important women to Antoine, his wife of 5 years Christine and his first great love from his teen years Colette. Scenes between the two women are particularly well-done as we get a glimpse into some real soul-searching for this complex character. Antoine also has a new woman in his life, the charming and bubbly Sabine who plays a most important role in this story that also manages to include subplots involving Antoine's relationship to his parents and a bit of detective work reminiscent of that beautiful film, Stolen Kisses. Clearly, this entire series is one of the best in cinema history. By focusing on one man and all the adventures and problems he must face, Truffaut has created some of the most realistic and indelible fictional characters in all of art. In some ways, these people are more real than the ones we know for they combine knowledge, understanding and wisdom learned in the past as well as hope and courage for the future. All great things must come to an end and this ending is as perfect as films get: funny, poignant and so warm and tender. To understand why Truffaut was such a special artist, look no further than these five chapters depicting the life of Antoine Doinel.
The plot and emotional growth of the character is excellent. So why only a 7 for this film? Well, much of the film is simply cut and pasted from the previous Antoine Doinel films. This gave it a certain cheap look. Plus, what I really found inexplicable was that Truffaut used clips from Jean-Pierre Léaud films that were NOT about Doinel but pretended the clips were about him. In addition, clips from some Doinel films were shown but the entire scene is re-dubbed or explained in a way in which the scene did NOT appear in the original film. A good example is a clip from Stolen Kisses. The narrator says he (Doinel) was unlucky in love and followed attractive women because he'd become infatuated with them. However, this scene was actually of Doinel following a lady because he was a private detective in this film--this was NOT someone he was infatuated with. Those who remember this movie well will be shocked at how easy it is to spot this obvious change. Finally, for some odd reason, one of the clips from Stolen Kisses is shown in black and white, while all the others from the movie are in color. It just didn't make sense why this occurred.
These inconsistencies are not great film-making. Decent film-making, maybe. For a better Truffaut film, try watching The Bride Wore Black (my personal favorite) or Wild Child or The Story of Adele H.
This last part from 1978 shows us Doinel doing what he's also doing in the previous four parts - falling in love with numerous women, trying to keep up relationships, looking for love, flirting etc. While the first part from 1959 showed us Doinel's childhood in a poor family with a hard and beating father and his longing for respect and love, the following parts are less interesting in my opinion.
The final chapter is rather superfluous, with jokes falling flat, no real script, no suspense or a really interesting story line, and the actors are just running around most of the time. If you have watched the previous Doinel films it might be interesting to see this sequel (which is not really an end), but I suggest you to watch the first Doinel movie "Les 400 coups" ("The 400 Blows") instead, or Truffauts "L'homme qui l'amait les femmes" ("The Man Who Loved Women"), a far more interesting study on love, obsession and fetishism.
Shortly after getting a divorce from his wife Christine, proof reader (and novelist) Antoine Doinel crosses paths with his teenage love Colette Tazzi.Spotting Doinel,Tazzi remembers that she has still not picked up his autobiography.Picking up the book,Tazzi soon discovers that Doinel's memories of the relationship are very different to her own.
View on the film:
Despite being labelled "A swindle" by its own creator, (who made it to get some much needed cash for his production company) co- writer/(along with Jean Aurel, Suzanne Schiffman and actress Marie- France Pisier) director François Truffaut & cinematographer Néstor Almendros get the movie to rise out of its clip show trappings,by giving Doinel's criss-crossing with his past lovers a crystal clear clarity which melts into a dizzying final shot.Throwing clips in from the other Doinel films into the mix, Truffaut does very well at changing the context of them,with the new narration making the grainy clips look like fading memories.
While it never settles down,the screenplay by Truffaut/Schiffman and Almendros takes advantage of the clips to strike a wonderfully contrasting picture of Doinel,via the clips as memories revealing that Doinel is still caught in a childish mind-set.Joined by alluring co-writer Marie-France Pisier as Colette Tazzi, Jean-Pierre Léaud gives a great performance as Doinel,thanks to Léaud twisting and turning every attempt Doinel makes to avoid a serious relationship,as Léaud and Truffaut wave farewell to Antoine Doinel.