Movies that are slightly off.
Hitman Jef Costello is a perfectionist who always carefully plans his murders and who never gets caught.
What an amazing film to finish the year with.
International superstar Alain Delon as Jef, an assassin whose world is turned upside down when a routine hit gets a tad bit tricky in this Jean-Pierre Melville crime drama. Chirping birds. The way Alain Delon looks wearing his raincoat and top hat. Barking doggie. Plate switcheroo. French hottie. Perfect alibi. High-stakes poker. Fuck the Surgeon General! Smoking is cool. Quick Draw Jef. Michael Jackson's white glove? Police harassment. Usual Suspects-esque moment. Hat game. Identity game. Alain's eyes. Sunny day rain. Subway escape. Stairway walk. Does Alain ever take his hands out of his pockets? Double-cross. Hat rack. Sexy piano playin' vixen. High-tech security system. A breaking and entering straight outta Le Cercle Rouge. Tricky coppers. Swivel chair. Shattered glass. The…
By choosing Alain Delon for the role of Jef Costello - the brooding, silent assassin who slinks through the murky shadows of the Parisian night - Jean-Pierre Melville highlights the importance of casting. Getting the right person onboard who can disappear into their character and embody their spirit. When a director can focus their lens onto a face that tells a story of its own, the hardest part of capturing the attention of the audience is done.
Very quickly after meeting the assassin, questions about Costello quickly rack up. Where has he come from to arrive at this point in his life as a consummate professional killer for hire? How long has he been living in solitude tending to his…
There is no solitude greater than that of the samurai unless it be that of a tiger in the jungle... perhaps...
There's a reason the word suave originates from the French language. This fantastic film noir, from its opening shot, swept me along accompanied by smooth jazzy music and told me the story of an incredibly intriguing protagonist.
Alain Delon is captivating. I watched him in a daze as he portrayed the steely eyed, methodical and outwardly emotionless killer. His look in this film has an iconic feel to it and, apart from being an important element in the first half of the film, really strengthens this film's fantastic style.
Melville is almost as methodical as his hero. He structures…
THE URBAN SAMURAI
Less you speak. More you say.
There is no greater solitude than that of the samurai unless it is that of the tiger in the jungle... Perhaps...
— Bushido (Book of the Samurai)
1) Tigre dans la jungle
Jeff Costello smokes his cigarette, and the title appears and one or two are said information on the screen, it's Saturday night and is. And that's enough for us. Le Samurai has a story and a simple and minimalist plot as everything else is. From the little dialogue that is spoken only 9 minutes and 58 seconds exactly and the first line is: Jef? - What is good to have a few dialogues can give a quick attention to…
At the time of this review, some pillock has changed the name of this film in the database to The Samurai, which no-one bloody calls it. If you are reading this and you made that change, YOU ARE A KNOB.
Now obviously this film has been ruined forever due to its association with the user picture of that Adam Cook, who is currently in hiding after his latest Mafia hit. But I was able to see past that, put aside all my prejudices against the lad, and still thoroughly enjoy my third slice of Jean-Pierre Melville crime stuff.
Fortunately for you I'm not going to do a proper review of it because I'm sicker…
Cool, calm and collected. Some parts left me in confusion as to why, but that is par for the course for this kind of films.
+ Procedural elements, particularily those pertaining to police work, were awesome.
+ Makes me want to upgrade my wardrobe, but I couldn't pull off that look.
- I feel the end owes me an explanation.
"Nothing to say?"
"Not with a gun on me."
"Is that a principle?"
This film was directed brilliantly by Melville, who deals away with expository dialogue, action set-pieces and any semblance of a backstory. Not a second of this film is wasted with such trifles, the story is instead told through character actions and not through words (the first 10 minutes of the film are actually wordless).
Our protagonist is Jef Costello (Alain Delon), a killer for hire, who has got wearing a fedora down to almost an exact science. He is hard as nails, cool as ice and suave as hell. The story follows him as he judiciously establishes himself an alibi, kills a club owner, is…
Stylish and interminable French drama about a hitman and police doing nothing and saying nothing in front of the camera for obscenely long periods of time. I mean, there's slightly more to it than that, but not much more. I don't know anything about French cinema in the 60s, so this could have been an experimental picture of some kind, the experiment being: how much nothing can we put on the screen and still get critical approbation? There is a 10 minute sequence where two cops sneak into a guy's apartment, hide a listening device behind a curtain, and leave, without saying a single word. Does that sound like something worth 10 minutes of…
The fedora-and-trench-coat-with-flipped-up-collar look has not aged well.
It's hard believe that your character is a perfectly meticulous hitman when the first thing we see him do is perform the sloppiest, laziest hit I've ever seen in film and get manage to get arrested wearing the least conspicuous clothing.
I'd agree with that there is a level of cool and stylish here, but nowhere near that which its praised for. I guess when my favourite film is Drive, those words evoke feelings of flashy and moody and that becomes my expectation.
Compared to other films that would fit under a similar genre, the plot doesn't feel thick enough to justify out drawn out the whole affair is. You could really boil down the film to a couple of…
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Le Samourai [3.5/4]
- I feel like the police aren't strongly motivated enough to focus in on Jef so extremely, for the witnesses to be so split and the alibi to be so strong it just felt over the top, especially for him to have ~399 more suspects (if we saw more of them get more confidently rejected I'd be fine with it but as is it feels unjustified), and maybe the idea is supposed to be, like, what the audience knows almost cosmically permeates the brains of the other characters, because the girlfriend knows when Jef is coming to see her at the end and the Jef knows the police came to her house, but that investigation feels so…
Jean-Pierre Melville’s Le Samouraï is perhaps the ultimate Letterboxd movie. Not only is it the kind of film that I most likely never would have heard of if it wasn’t for this wonderful site, but it is also inextricably associated with one of the legendary figures within the Letterboxd community, Adam Cook.
And what a great film it is! Le Samouraï is a slow-paced thriller with a very suspenseful story, which slowly and steadily progresses towards its inevitable, violent conclusion. And the film’s influence on films like Drive, Leon and not least one of my all-time favourite films, the underappreciated Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai is undeniable.
My only complaint really is the length of the final chase scene in the Metro, but besides that the film is made with almost impeccable craftsmanship. Plus, Alain Delon's Jef Costello must be the most stylish hitman ever seen on film!
While I like some of his other films better, Melville never fails to deliver. He's quickly becoming one of my favorite directors. Le Samourai is a great example of why
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…