THE 400 BLOWS (1959)
Francois Truffaut's semi-autobiographical breakout film THE 400 BLOWS (LES 400 COUPS) is an absolute treasure. I had the fortune of seeing a 50th anniversary rerelease print of the film last year and it was gorgeous. This, along with Godard's BREATHLESS were complete game-changers in the filmmaking world, and demonstrated what could be done by those working outside the major studio system. THE 400 BLOWS is the first in the Antoine Doinel series of films that Truffaut made with his young prodigy Jean-Pierre Leaud. If you see one French film from this era, it simply must be THE 400 BLOWS.