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The 400 Blows

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Opening the N.C. Museum of Art's outdoor film series is the first flick by a man critics consider one of the greatest filmmakers of all times: Francois Truffaut. Shot in 1959, this is one of the founding films of the French New Wave, an expressive and technically creative style of filmmaking that sought to convey human thought and feeling, in deliberate reaction to the plot-driven, dialogue-heavy films of the classic cinema. It is also the first in a series of autobiographical films by Truffaut, starring a character called Antoine Doinel. In The 400 Blows (a French expression which translates as "raising hell"), Antoine is a pre-adolescent boy who has been marked by fate as a "troublemaker" and a "lost cause." Despite eventually being hauled away to juvenile detention home, his spirit is renewed by frequent visits to the cinema. Truffaut claimed film saved his life. The outdoor screening of the movie Saturday, May 20, starts at 9 p.m., but don't leave early. The very last shot, a zoom in to a freeze frame of the boy at the beach, is considered one of the most memorable in film history. See "Special Showings" for details.

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