We all have hundreds of films on our “caught it once, hated it, never again” list. But what about a film you completely fell for — one that flipped a deep-down pleasure switch and made you feel pretty great about everything– but have never revisited, and haven’t even thought about for decades?
For me Francois Truffaut‘s Small Change (L’Argent de poche) is one such film. I’m not a fan of movies about kids and in fact I usually run in the opposite direction, but this was a remarkable exception. Released in ’76, it was made by and for adults, and generated a steady, non-strenuous, matter-of-fact attitude. Plus it empathized with little kids in a way that I found almost entrancing. I would stream it right now but it’s only on DVD.
By the way: Color photography wasn’t exactly an exotic feature in the ’70s, and color TV had been totally standard since ’65 or thereabouts. But pro-level photographers (those who worked for newspapers and syndicates) always shot in monochrome. News outlets wanted black-and-white images and that was what they got. Plus rolls of color film were expensive compared to b&w, not to mention the processing. Plus every photographer worth his or her salt has always preferred the monochrome palette.
I just don’t think of the ’70s as a black-and-white era whereas the mid ’50s and before (going all the way back to mid 1880s daguerrotypes) always seemed like natural black-and-white habitats.