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World Cinema Series: Small Change

What Small Change is one of Truffaut’s most poetic and personal films, a radiant celebration of the world of childhood. Through a series of loosely connected vignettes in a small city in southern France, a group of children, from infants to adolescents, experience the joys and trials of youth.
When 10 May 2011 (Tuesday), 7:30 pm
Where National Museum of Singapore, Gallery Theatre
93 Stamford Road Singapore 178897
Admission

Free admission but members only -- flash your membership card to go in. You may bring up to 2 guests if you hold a SFS Reel membership card. Non-members may sign up online or at the door -- we will issue membership on the spot. No tickets will be sold. Free seating. Seats are limited.

 

Small Change (L’argent de poche)
By François Truffaut
1976 | France | 104 min | 35mm | PG
In French with English subtitles

“A comedy, a romance, a mystery – in a word: childhood – captured, distilled, and transformed effortlessly from sketchbook to symphony in the hands of a master named François Truffaut.” - Wes Anderson

Too long absent from the big screen, Small Change is one of Truffaut’s most poetic and personal films, a radiant celebration of the world of childhood. Through a series of loosely connected vignettes in a small city in southern France, a group of children, from infants to adolescents, experience the joys and trials of youth. “Children exist in a state of grace,” as a young mother observes. “They pass untouched through dangers that would destroy an adult.”

The joy of Small Change is seeing the very natural performances of the children, aged from the very young to those bordering adolescence. Truffaut is so precise with his observations and unobtrusive with the camera that he made the film seems more like a documentary instead of contrived movie scenarios. He finds the small pleasures of children and captures their fear and excitement, such as one boy’s first crush and kiss.

Truffaut’s own childhood was marked by rejection and brutality—he never met his biological father and his mother virtually disowned him—and this is reflected in his work.  As Small Change amply bears out, Truffaut was gifted with a far deeper understanding of children than most film directors – and this at least partly accounts for the acute sense of humanity in his films.

When it was first released in 1976, Small Change proved to be a hugely popular film in France and abroad. There are close similarities between Small Change and Nicolas Philibert’s 2001 documentary Être et avoir / To Be And To Have as both magically transport the spectator into the minds of the children they portray, won critical acclaim for their directors, and proved to be surprising box office successes.