Antoine and Colette (French: Antoine et Colette) is the second film — a short — in François Truffaut's series about Antoine Doinel, the character he follows from boyhood to adulthood through five films. The third is the feature film Stolen Kisses. Antoine and Colette was made for the 1962 anthology collection, Love at Twenty, which featured shorts from the renowned directors Shintarô Ishihara, Marcel Ophüls, Renzo Rossellini and Andrzej Wajda, as well as Truffaut.
Antoine Doinel — and Jean-Pierre Léaud, the actor who played him throughout all five films — had made his screen debut in 1959 with Truffaut's first film, The 400 Blows. Truffaut's tender, semi-autobiographical film about the young Antoine and his gradual descent into petty crime introduced the world to the French New Wave, a short-lived but highly influential outpouring of work from young French filmmakers including Jean-Luc Godard, Claude Chabrol, and Éric Rohmer.
Antoine and Colette catches up with Antoine as a solitary 20-year-old who works at Phillips manufacturing LPs to support himself. He lives in a furnished room by himself in Place Clichy, listening to opera and classical music and spending time with René (Patrick Auffay), his school friend from The 400 Blows.
One day, while attending a Berlioz Music Programme with René, he spots Colette (Marie-France Pisier), a secondary school student, and falls in love for the first time.
Colette is his own age, but unlike Antoine has a warm, supportive family with whom she still lives. Antoine forms a strong friendship with Colette and, eventually, also her parents who begin to treat him as if he were a part of their family.
Colette's feelings for Antoine are at first ambiguous and, harbouring some hope that she might grow to return them, he leaves his apartment at the Place Clichy and moves into an apartment across the road from her family's. Although she continues to treat him kindly, it slowly becomes apparent that she is not interested in him romantically. He sulks about this and at first refuses to see her, but he is lured back by a dinner invitation. It is clear that her family still consider him a surrogate son and are possibly hoping for something romantic to happen between the two teenagers.
All of these hopes are dashed, however, when the pretty Colette is met at the front door by an older man. Her parents and Antoine look helplessly on as she disappears off with her date. They are all left to watch television.
Doinel's adventures follow with Stolen Kisses, Bed and Board and Love on the Run.
Truffaut had just finished Jules and Jim in 1962 when he was approached by film producer Pierre Roustang for his omnibus film project Love At Twenty. Truffaut was influential in helping to select Shintarô Ishihara, Marcel Ophüls, Renzo Rossellini and Andrzej Wajda as the other directors who would eventually participate in the project. In his book Truffaut On Truffaut, Truffaut later said, "For my part, the French episode gave me the occasion to realize a project I hadn't dared to launch on my own, a short sequel to my first film, The 400 Blows, in which we would meet up with the young Antoine Doinel three years later having his first sentimental adventure, one that would illustrate the moral: you risk losing everything by wanting too much."
Antoine and Colette is a largely autobiographical work, based on seventeen-year-old Truffaut's infatuation with an unconventional beauty named Liliane Litvin. Truffaut met Litvin at the Cinémathèque Française and quit his job as a welder and moved to Paris just to be near her. Like Antoine, he took an apartment across the street from hers so that he could monitor her activities. However, she was ultimately not interested in him nor in any of his friends (she had also attracted attention from Jean Gruault and Jean-Luc Godard).Jean-Pierre Léaud - Antoine Doinel
Marie-France Pisier - Colette
Patrick Auffay - René
Rosy Varte - Colette's mother
François Darbon - Colette's step father
Jean-François Adam - Albert Tazzi
Pierre Schaeffer - Himself