Complete list of the films Guillermo del Toro has recommended on twitter. Click the 'Read notes' button to see his…
Parisian police commissioner Coleman is not a happy man, but he does what he can to get through each day. He has recently started having an affair with Cathy, and that helps a little. Cathy is also Simon's girlfriend and Simon is Coleman's friend. Unfortunately, Simon is also the head of a gang of criminals. When Coleman's investigation of a drug-smuggling ring closes in, their rivalry comes to a head.
The eyes. It's all about the eyes. Alain Delon's blue eyes and Catherine Deneuve's green eyes. Eye contact between characters, between friends, between partners, between enemies. Eye contact with Van Gogh. Robbers communicate with their eyes during heists, look, nod, only a few words uttered. The camera would always follow the movement of the eyes, constantly shifting as characters exchange glances, or stare at each other.
Through Simon's (Richard Crenna) eyes we see that he's a confident robber. Calm and skillful. Through Coleman's (Alain Delon) eyes we see that he's a weary detective, sick and tired of it all.
"No, I don't know him." said Simon. The camera rapidly cut between Simon's and Coleman's eyes. The tension rised exponentially. Throw…
Jean-Pierre Melville, one of the most important auteurs in the history of cinema, took the American gangster films of the 30s and noirs of the following decades and gave an entirely new face to the gangster genre with his unique sense of style and love for the seventh art. No other director approached the meaning of ‘cool’ with so much accuracy since Melville, he's arguably the most stylish film director to have ever lived; using the imagery as his native language, Jean-Pierre sets the tone and pace for the film with a bleak, cold, yet beautiful cinematography and with a wonderfully stylized and choreographed heist sequence that marks the beginning of the film - Un Flic is another script written…
Melville's farewell not only to the crime genre and his collaboration with the great Alain Delon, but to cinema itself, was the last proof that shows that Melville was still at the top of his game.
The story is deceptively simple, goes by the book, opens as most films of the genre do, closes like few of them do, has a predictable climax, and is one of the most important examples of neo-noir, including the relentless, determined cop, the beautiful blonde femme fatale and the typical friendship connection between cop and crook.
What are, then, the motivations for watching the film? Mellvile's scope, of course, the jazzy score and the performances of the terrific cast.
Le Cercle Rouge is famous…
Please note this is a review of a movie, not a law enforcement officer. Please see my account at Blotterboxd for police reviews
The world as seen through the blue eyes of Alain Delon's frighteningly cold detective. The criminals are introduced as fedora wearing silhouettes in a car, a powerfully mysterious image that sets the quiet, cool tone of everything that follows. My favorite scene is a very long take of a man changing clothes and hiding evidence as part of an elaborate train heist. I know this is the kind of thing that drives some people (hi Matt!) crazy with boredom, but to me it shows such a respect for criminal enterprises as a skilled trade, as labor.
Were it not for a couple glaring, uh, budgetary limitations (I hate to be the type of person to complain about production value but it really does represent a grasp for Melville's reach to exceed a couple times, and not in a fun way), this would probably be my favorite Melville film. The movie's central train-based set-piece is a marvel for his signature patiently-constructed suspense (maybe Melville was a little too patient with the special effects people, OK I'll shut up about it now), all the more so for its seemingly taking place in real time.
The cinematography is as silvery and steel-cold as you could possibly wish from a nihilistic crime drama, with some really stunning camerawork (watch the…
"People will do the wrong thing, they always do."
After being blown away by Army of Shadows, I couldn't resist exploring more of Jean-Pierre Melville's filmography, which brought me all the way to the end of his career, to his final film, the modestly named Un Flic ("a cop"), about a police inspector and his crusade to uncover the men responsible for a bank robbery. Melville's work has been famously characterized as a cinema of "process", and this procedural cinema fits rather naturally into the genre of the police procedural. Melville loves dwelling not only on the process of exciting things, like gangsters planning their crimes or police officers trying to find them, but also on the process of much…
I guess it is appropriate to say at this point: I'm biased with Melville. The certain rarity and uniqueness with which I give films five stars (or even four-and-a-half) completely is thrown out of the window with him. But what can I say? He's a master, on operates on a level I believe few have, and to watch his films is to see a glimpse that I do not deserve, that I'm not good enough to see, and that alone enthralls me. Un Flic was not planned to be the final outing of Melville, but his swan song is indeed a song, of excellence and exuberance, and it encapsulates much of the director's common-ground identifications, narratively and aesthetically. Even if the film isn't one last big hurrah, it is instead a quiet feat, which may be perfect, because Melville himself was always about one thing: silence.
“Dead men arrest no one”
Jean-Pierre Melville’s final film is some sharp pulp-fiction bookended by two spectacularly magnificent scenes, but with just as much good stuff in between. The overall story of Un Flic honestly doesn’t seem like anything Melville focuses too much on in favor of atmosphere, dialogue, feelings and the visual aspects. This makes is a bit hard to fully commit to the film, but with all the great stuff inside it seldom matters.
It’s a visual wonder where everything from the big scenes such as the rain-heavy opening in the perfectly gray concrete setting or the stylishly charming use of models in the gorgeous tension that is the train-sequence adds to giving the film a great style.…
A typically austere Melville film gris, but with the added metatextual heft of it being his last. Cracks in the pristine surface do appear: there are sequences involving miniatures and matte paintings that initially don't seem befitting of a director known for realism and grit. But they do possess a strange power and resonance in this le Carré-esque story of obfuscation and deceit. The heist set pieces that bookend the film are as thrilling as they come, nerve-eroding in their nuts and bolts. Also, '72 Alain Delon and '72 Catherine Deneuve have to be two of the most absurdly photogenic people in film history.
No one does procedural set pieces like Melville.
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
I enjoyed watching Melville's last film, and the subtlety was similar to Melville's best. However Id rather have imagined the train scene than "seen" it.
Melville Marathon #6
Un Flic is the final film in my small marathon of Jean Pierre Melville films, although it is certainly the weakest it is still a good, solid film.
When you have films such as Army of Shadows, Leon Morin, Priest and Le Cercle Rouge to your name certain films are going to fly under the radar and Un Flic is certainly one of them.
Certainly not Melville's best film, Un Flic was his final film, despite it not being the best, Melville's work on the film is just as good as his other efforts and even almost right at the end of his life his was still at the top of his game.
I'd give Un Flic a 6.5/10. It is a very short film but still feels too long. The story is interesting and Alain Delon is good as the protagonist. Might not be Melville's most remembered film but it is still worth seeing.
+0.5 for Catherine Deneuve
-0.5 for model train.
Unpopular opinion: I'm not a fan of Jean-Pierre Melville. He makes genre films with exciting premises and then tells them in a painstakingly slow manner. Un Flic (A Cop) starts out well enough, with an atmospherically rendered bank heist, but once it got into the meat of the story I found myself losing interest. Ostensibly this is the story of a cop perusing a robber who turns out to be his friend (that's not a spoiler), a situation complicated by woman they are both involved with. Sounds like a pretty dramatic situation, no? Not in Melville's hands. He strips any dramatic tension out of this triangle by barely establishing this 'friendship', and spending almost as little time exploring the men's…
Melville's final film is a bit of a mess but it's an often brilliant mess.
This list is the Letterboxd version of The Oxford History of World Cinema.
The book celebrates and chronicles over one…
"This is a list of 1000 film noirs and neo-noirs from around the world released between 1920 and 2012."