Antoine et Antoinette. 1947. France. Directed by Jacques Becker. Screenplay by Jacques Becker, Maurice Griffe, Françoise Giroud. With Roger Pigaut, Claire Mafféi, Noël Roquevert. In French; English subtitles. 78 min.
Said to be the fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier’s favorite film, Antoine et Antoinette is the first of Becker’s three postwar Parisian comedies. (The second of these, Rendezvous in July, opens this series.) Sensitive to nuances of character and class, Becker proves himself worthy of his mentor Jean Renoir in this portrait of young lovers who dream of escaping the pressures and routines of working-class life in Paris’s 18th Arrondissement. Becker’s on-location shooting throughout the city and his concern with the inchoate desires of youth also make Antoine et Antoinette a forerunner to the French New Wave.