At the beginning of the 20th century, Claude Roc, a young middle-class Frenchman meets in Paris Ann Brown, a young Englishwoman. They become friends and Ann invites him to spend holidays at... See full summary »
In the town of Thiers, summer of 1976, teachers and parents give their children skills, love, and attention. A teacher has his first child, a single mother hopes to meet Mr. Right, another ... See full summary »
Stanislas Previne is a young sociologist, preparing a thesis on criminal women. He meets in prison Camille Bliss to interview her. Camille is accused to have murdered her lover Arthur and ... See full summary »
Pierre Lachenay is a well-known publisher and lecturer, married with Franca and father of Sabine, around 10. He meets an air hostess, Nicole. They start a love affair, which Pierre is hiding, but he cannot stand staying away from her.
A French little town, at the end of the twenties. Julien Davenne is a journalist whose wife Julie died a decade ago. He gathered in the green room all Julie's objects. When a fire destroys ... See full summary »
Antoine Doinel is now more than thirty. He divorces from Christine. He is a proofreader, and is in love with Sabine, a record seller. Colette, his teenager love, is now a lawyer. She buys ... See full summary »
1798. In a forest, some countrymen catch a wild child who can not walk, speak, read nor write. Doctor Itard is interested by the child, and starts to educate him. Everybody thinks he will fail, but with a lot of love and patience, he manages to obtain results and the child continues with normal development. This is based on true story.Written by
The film isn't based on a novel; it was a technical report or, more precisely, medical notes, entitled "Rapport fait à son excellence le Ministre de l'intérieur sur les nouveaux développemens et état actuel du sauvage de l'Aveyron." [More or less: Report to the Minister of the Interior about new developments and current state of the wild child of Aveyron.] See more »
When getting ready to see the neighbors, the boy's hands are on the same pane of glass in the window, but in the next cut, his hands are on different panes. See more »
Le Dr Jean Itard:
For the present, his emotions appear unaffected. Despite the ill-treatment he endured at the institute, no one ever saw him cry.
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Truffaut asks the question through a dramatic narrative- can humanity be brought out through science?
The Wild Child could be the kind of movie that doesn't work. In a way it's hard to find what the dramatic conflict of the film would be if not for the push & pull struggle between the scientists and his 'test' subject of sorts, Victor, the wild child of the title. But somehow it does- Truffaut laces the film with a kind of undertone of logic for the audience (how can a boy for most of his life be out in the wild and become suddenly domesticated), while making a sort of nature versus society statement. The film also has the director's trademark lightness, which helps to not make the film's subject matter too bleak or disparaging. For it could be- Truffaut actually gives a kind of suspense to the narrative at times, that just when you think Victor is on his way to success, he stumbles and starts to act out on the floor or escape into the wild for a breather. It's a very curious film, not just because Truffaut (in one of his few times) gives himself the starring role, but also that the child- like Makim Munzak in Kurosawa's Dersu Uzala- had his only significant role ever in the film. And it's quite the seemingly impulsive, and always alive, performance that filmmaker's rarely get out of children.
Victor is named this only halfway through the film, and it starts off with him being chased by a small mob and their dogs through the woods. It's maybe the most exciting part of the film, but then this segways into the early stages of the boy's troubles. He's placed in a deaf and dumb school, beat up by the other kids, and still with the passions and intelligence that the woods have given him. It becomes a fascination in the story of what the limits, if any, are for him to learn everything real boys do. Once he's put into Dr. Itard's (Truffaut) care, then the film sets off onto a very direct path- how will he learn, will he, and how long will it it take? As with his other films, the literary aspect kicks in as the scientist takes repeated notes on the boy, using a kind of pre-Darwinian way of scientific methods. But it's within the little moments in the film, like when Victor is out on his walks, or makes his little successes, where Truffaut as a filmmaker picks up the best parts of the film.
This could be a very routine picture, and for some it may actually be a little dull and disheartening. Will the boy ever learn? The film actually does raise questions within its format, as it is based on a true case (from taking science classes I know there are also others of this kind as well). It brings to mind about what is pure and delicate about the ways of an animal and what separates them and humans. Each little test becomes dramatic conflict in the structure Truffaut puts forth, and in a way it's rather experimental. And it even becomes delightful in certain scenes, like when he first learns how to ask for milk, and then this expands. This, along with a sweet Vivaldi score in the background, and interesting visuals (love the iris usage), makes it a worthwhile entry in Truffaut's oeuvre. Not one of his absolute best, but up there.
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