is a fictional character
invented by French film director François Truffaut
. Doinel is to a certain extent a stand-in, or alter ego
, for Truffaut in a number of films.
Although Truffaut did not originally plan that Doinel would be a recurring character, Doinel appeared in three additional full-length films and one short-subject after his original appearance in Truffaut's debut feature, The 400 Blows. In all, Truffaut told stories about Doinel for over 20 years.
Doinel was played by Jean-Pierre Léaud. His lover and later wife, Christine Darbon, was played by Claude Jade in the following adventures.
The Adventures of Antoine Doinel
The set of the films has been dubbed "The Adventures of Antoine Doinel". The following films make up the series.
The 400 Blows
Truffaut's debut was the film The 400 Blows
. The film introduces us to the 12-year-old Doinel, who runs away, eventually turning to street life and petty crime in response to neglect at home. Towards the end of the film, he is sent to a reform school, from which he escapes.
Antoine and Colette
The next – short – appearance of Doinel was in Antoine and Colette
, a short which was part of the 1962 omnibus film L'amour à vingt ans
In the third installment, Stolen Kisses
(1968), a more mature Doinel attempts to return to civilian life after a dishonourable discharge from the military. His romantic forays are rocky with Christine (Claude Jade
), and then his boss's wife (Delphine Seyrig
Bed & Board
In 1970, Doinel and Christine have married in Bed & Board
, but Doinel suddenly becomes obsessed with a young Japanese
woman (Hiroko Berghauer).
Love on the Run
Doinel's adventures come to a close in 1979's Love on the Run
, where his romantic attentions pass from his wife Christine to disc-seller Sabine (Dorothée
Christine Darbon, portrayed by Claude Jade
, appears in the life of Antoine in Stolen Kisses
. Indeed, we find Christine as leading female character in the following films of the saga Doinel: Bed & Board
(now Christine Doinel) and Love on the Run
, where she again becomes Christine Darbon. Truffaut has the occasion to examine three states, three ages, of the woman: loved from a distance (Stolen Kisses
), married and misled (Bed & Board
), divorced but still on good terms (Love on the Run
). Christine is characterized by her good behaviour, the promptness of her glance, a sense of sacrifice which is by no means "tragic". Antoine and Christine were the first film couple to divorce by mutual consent. Christine can be seen as part of Truffaut's autobiography: while Antoine seeks to seduce Christine in "Stolen Kisses", Truffaut in reality fell in love with Claude Jade, whom he was later engaged to marry. The two did not wed. The character of Christine Darbon left an indelible mark on Truffaut's work: she is a character who never really reveals her emotions, whose sad smile is her only weapon to fight Antoine's cruelty and whose soft glance barely manages to hide an inner wound.
The entire "Adventures of Antoine Doinel" has been made available as part of The Criterion Collection