In today’s N.Y. Times, Terrence Rafferty reminds that Francois Truffaut‘s The 400 Blows (a new print of which will show at N.Y.’s Film Forum on Wednesday) is “a lyrical and surprisingly tough-minded little picture about a 12-year-old troublemaker named Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre Leaud), as seen by a sympathetic and slightly more seasoned troublemaker named Francois Truffaut.

Snapped four years ago in the Cimetiere de Montmartre

The originality of this 1959 film “lies in its willingness to trot along to the quotidian rhythms of a boy’s life,” Rafferty explains. “Antoine’s childhood (which bears some similarity to Truffaut’s own) is crummy, but in unexceptional ways. Right from the start of his career Truffaut had the sly gift of holding our attention while appearing to be doing almost nothing, just moving at his own casual pace away from the traditions that dogged him and toward something that might have looked to him as huge and vague and daunting as the ocean.”