L'Amour en Fuite (Love on the Run)
finishes off the Antoine Doniel series appropriately,
as our Truffaut
alter ego (Jean-Pierre Léaud) continues with his
relationship difficulties. What else can we expect?
Actually, this 1979 film serves more as a summation
of Doniel's life, as nearly half of the film consists
of flashbacks to the previous four films -- The
400 Blows, Antoine
and Colette, Stolen
Kisses, and Bed
and Board. The film only works
because of the previous material, so don't try this
one before seeing the first four chapters.
Our romantic Parisian begins the film with a new
girlfriend Dorothée (Sabine Barnerias) on the morning
of his divorce with Christine (Claude Jade). Antoine
is now past thirty, but over and over we see that
he is no wiser with relationships and is doomed
to repeat the old patterns. More than once, his
first love interest Colette (Marie-France Pisier)
remarks "same old Doniel." Indeed, the romantic
in Doniel compels him to act irrationally, searching
Paris for the woman behind a picture or hopping
on a train without a ticket to meet an old flame.
does attempt some psychological explanations for
Antoine, as the women in his life all think that
he will continue his relationship problems due to
his unresolved problems with his parents. That's
the only hope offered here. We find that both of
Antoine's parents have died, his mother's old flame
taking Antoine to her gravesite at Montmarte. Also,
Antoine has written his novel, based almost word
for word on his actual life. Thus, the potential
for Antoine to forgive his parents and establish
a solid relationship is present.
If this were a Hollywood film, that would happen.
Truffaut's more spontaneous cinema verite-like
improvisations this is not so certain. The deaths
of his parents and the autobiographical novel are
used more as plot devices to bring past clips into
the film. Don't expect an epiphany here for our
hero, as the final image of young Antoine on the
revolving carnival ride indicates.
Still it's a treat to see the mature Colette once
again after a 17-year hiatus, and there's the irrepressible
Léaud, who continues to act naturally from the heart
-- an extension of Truffaut's
soul. As expected, we get more Truffaut
tracking shots through the Parisian streets and
intimate private scenes between Antoine and his
friends. Most memorable though are the numerous
film clips that bring back a lot of memories of
our film friend.
Thus, Love on the Run is strictly
fans, who have grown up with Antoine Doniel improvising
his way through the Bohemian sections of Paris.
Should an innocent viewer pick up this film first,
the flashbacks to black and white film and differing
quality film stocks would be unevenly jarring and
nonsensical. For those of us who have grown with
provides a suitable send off for the series--a sweet