Movies that are slightly off.
An underground story where lives intertwine
Fred, a raffish safe blower, takes refuge in the Paris Metro after being chased by the henchmen of a shady businessman from whom he has just stolen some documents. While hiding out in the back rooms and conduits of the Metro, Fred encounters a subterranean society of eccentric characters and petty criminals. Despite being pursued by the henchmen, Fred finds the time to flirt with Héléna, blow a safe, rob a train, evade the hapless Metro police, and start a rock band
Subway is boss. The music, the underground network and everyone within it, the quirks of the characters. Often hilarious, so fun and intriguing. Fred is cool as fuck. The secondary plot involving the band is just as cool as the lead plot. Batman and Robin. I felt genuinely sorry for Batman during his constant failures. The drummer doesn't divulge his name, brilliant. I rated this 4.5 stars in my mind after watching it. I was lying to myself. As fun as anything I've watched all year/ that I can remember.
Subway is one of those rare films that make me feel physically good - like I'm in love or something crazy like that. Ah fuck, I just feel so great! Everything about this masterpiece is flirting with me, and it's doing a hell of a good job. It just won't take no for an answer, and it should never have to.
And damn it, that score - makes it impossible to sit still throughout the film! Added to list of favourite films upon this rewatch - absolument!
Je t'aime Subway, je t'aime.
Luc Besson + Highlander welding tube + Miami Connection-style musical scenes + Batman + Taking of Pelham 1,2,3. Like if that doesn't scare you off this movie is just for you. Lots of fun - great companion to the more serious French films like Diva and Mauvais Sang but sharing that same visual vocabulary.
At least google the Guns Don't Kill People/People Kill People song and wish that Vampire Weekend would cover it.
if Besson's mid-80s so-called cinema du look was ever actually a thing, this overtly aspires to be its eurotrash BREATHLESS, right down to Lambert's slightly funky Belmondo-meets-Sting presenting to Adjani's high class moll, all ennui, yearning to bust out of her gilded cage. i don't think this ever achieves the electricity or offhanded grace of, say, Beineix's DIVA, but some really confident stuff.
sexxy Isabelle causes sum real trouble, crazy roller-skate guy is a savior, The Professional is an annoying cute drummer boy, and Blonde doufy looking Sid Viscous guy puts together a great band of underground ratty misfits. Cool cos every single event takes place underground in the SuBWAy~~
This film is a little strange in some ways. There is a vague plot, but really the narration wanders from one event to another in ways that don't seem particularly meaningful to that plot. However I want to say its meditative rather than banal.
Besson seemed to have found some something arresting about this subway in the way it exuded both 80's pop-culture, as well that sunless industrial underbelly in a complementary way. In response, he planted some characters in it and used them as a vehicle to demonstrate the edgy beauty of the setting.
Luc Besson's second feature has some fun stylistic choices. It takes place primarily in the Paris Metro system, features a bleach blond Christopher Lambert, also has Jean Reno as a kind of punky drummer, a guy with flashlight-equipped rollerskates, and Isabelle Adjani being at times boring and at other times exhilarating (like when she tells everyone off at a high class party while wearing her hair up in an Iroquois-inspired faux hawk).
The characters don't make a whole lot of sense, key parts of the plot are glossed over, the drama isn't very engaging, but there is some amusing dialogue and it's fun to watch the Highlander run around subway tunnels with messy, bleached hair. I'm sure it is visually…
“To be is to do
To do is to be
Do be do be do
The epigraph in cinema is frequently a vehicle for the filmmaker to flaunt their pretension. I’ve seen few movies that choose a quotation to genuinely enhances the film. Subway is a bold exception. The three selected quotations, in juxtaposition, offer a concise yet endlessly clever parody on organized philosophy. Besson’s movie is an assault on formal society, and the opening absurd lines of text perfectly set the tone.
Subway chronicles the adventures of a man who stumbles across and joins a subculture of subway-dwelling miscreants. The station platforms and the isolated depths are filmed with spectacular attention to detail. It has an…
One of the keys, I think, to understanding Luc Besson's work is to appreciate his sense of humor. I believe that all his films (at least in what I've seen) are at heart comedies. There is a deep undercurrent of absurdity running through them which if you can get attuned to his wavelength you can really appreciate it. All of the elements are there in SUBWAY, his 1985 film right before he became famous with LA FEMME NIKITA.
I couldn't even begin to explain the plot, it lacks cohesiveness with multiple stories all taking place throughout. What it has is heart. It is slick, superficial and all over the place, yet it is joyous. To me, that is the point of all his work.
And is there a more iconic look than Christopher Lambert with the spiky hair in a tuxedo holding the florescent tube?
The Highlander spoke french. This is an epiphany to me. Also Isabella and Jean.
this is cinema.
Absolute respect. Gotta love that dark sense of humor. Truly worthed it!
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Le cinéma du look par excellence from 1985 and wow isn't it glossy and quirky and so much fun.
There's a fascination with underground places where you're not supposed to go, and the locations in this subway are amazing. The cast — at least the pallid subway-dwellers we're rooting for here — are dangerously attractive. Especially the great Adjani, again, (and, again, she gets to sulk magnificently). And the soundtrack by Eric Serra is funky and hip and only occasionally dated. And Serra gets to pretty much play himself in the film. It's all shot in wide angle to make everything look big and intense and a bit parallel-worldy.
I love the way it's full of noirish plot details to…
Luc Besson's urban caper about a group of shady ragtag renegades is fairly exciting. It established him as a director of stylistic panache, kinetic action and sleek eccentricities.
The substance factor is one that he'd grasp in later films. This is more of an anarchic glossy genre exercise. Still, for what it's worth, Subway is a rollicking fun time in an underground lair.
It immediately begins with a thrilling chase scene as Fred (Christopher Lambert), a tuxedo-wearing safe-blower, is pursued by six thugs in the Parisian streets until he arrives at the Metro. The chase continues until there—with propulsive pacing, as Fred adjusts to subterranean life on the run.
The reason Fred is being chased is because he stole incriminating…
It's been roughly 14 months since my last visit to Paris and whilst it wasn't the most pleasant experience I've ever had abroad watching this just made me want to run out and relive the whole thing again.
Perhaps not the best of what I've seen in Luc Besson's filmography so far - the narrative wobbles far too much for my liking, struggling to make us empathise with every member of its eclectic ensemble cast - but beneath its flaws there's an evident love for the city, its design, its culture and indeed its populace permeating throughout. Whether it's in Besson's high speed opening, the energy pumping through Sophie Schmit's match cut-led editing or the bizarrely Jean-Pierre Jeunet-esque premise, there's a undeniable grin beaming through the film's odd observations, visual delight (a dark corridor being lit up by torches attached to a pair of roller skates) and Jean Reno potentially rivalling Miles Teller for the best recorded cinematic drum solo.
In chronological order, or I'm gonna sit here and rearrange until I'm eighty.
This list is the Letterboxd version of The Oxford History of World Cinema.
The book celebrates and chronicles over one…