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…
"The only feelings mankind has ever inspired in policemen are those of indifference and derision..."
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Note: this write-up contains spoilers for many of Melville's other films.
Un Flic sticks out in Melville's filmography in part because it follows a trilogy of taughtly calculated masterpieces. Very little about this film feels as controlled as its three predcessors. This is grizzled Melville. "Cinema on the edge of a nervous breakdown." The taught suspense, the controlled rituals and mechanisms so characteristic of his films certainly don't feel too controlled here. The entire film; characters, film form itself, feels on the verge of breaking down. The cuts are less controlled, thre are more frantic close-ups of faces that hide alterior motives. Coleman's loud, angry bursts of emotion are unlike the typical controlled Melvillian agent. However, these differences are crucial…
Commissaire Edouard Coleman: People will do the wrong thing, they always do.
Jean-Pierre Melville and Alain Delon was an outstanding combo, as shown in the masterpiece Le Samourai. A year prior to his sudden demise they made Un Flic (A Cop) together. This whole movie characterize Melville´s love for set pieces and dialogue sparse filming. With little text he made his actors tell the story with their eyes holding the key of what is going on. The bank heist on the beach in pouring rain, each actor moving in determined matter knowing what when to do as if rehearsed many times before, was cinema gold. This scene alone takes about 20 minutes with hardly a word exchanged, mimicking the heist…
this is perfection. i only saw "le samourai" before and this swansong was top-notch with a fucking brilliant cast, a shadow of top-class noir tragedy and, of course, my man-crush - mr. alain delon. the story is uniquely simple and textbook noir-ish with clever plotlines where you start to cheer for the villain's subtlety. and, this film has one of the best and legendary heist scenes ever. yes, that train scene! this is where JPM is JPM! absolute genius of him! damn! other than that, a brilliant background music (sometimes, a lack of this and that was a brilliant step), cinematography (from excellent jump cuts to marvellous close-ups and, of course, the beautiful shots of a foggy parisian street in…
El nivel es tan alto que parece increíble que Un flic pueda ser inferior a sus tres predecesoras. Un más que digno punto y final a la filmografía de Melville.
Definitely Melville's driest film, but like always, the man knows how to shoot a film.
It really is a shame that Melville had to end his career with this film -- another crime drama, this time hampered by poor casting. Monsieur Delon is entirely unconvincing as a grizzled police veteran and Catherine Deneuve has very little to do in this film other than to look pretty in a few sequences. Thus, "Un Flic" remains little more than a decent crime drama that is a disappointing end to an otherwise accomplished film career.
Un Flic is Jean-Pierre Melville's final film, which marks the end of an illustrious career, spawning 13 feature films. Melville has established himself among the most stylish directors of all time, as his films ooze a sense of coolness and classiness which other directors still try to replicate to this day.
Just like Le Samouraï and Le Cercle rouge beforehand, Un Flic is a tale of crime set in the Parisian underworld, featuring cops and gangsters playing tense cat and mouse games. The usual Melvillian elements are present in this film as well, including the bleak cinematography and silent action scenes. It is a very interesting and unique aesthetic, which Melville had managed to perfect and make it his own.…
With his usual slow style that virtually drips elegance, Jean Pierre Melville directs his usual noir ingredients, once again taking french police thriller movies to the maximum.
Fog, rain, cold, the glowing lights of cars, the rare explosion with the patient tension that gradually builds up to it. And Alain Delon is now the cop. A cop, however, that reminds us more of Travis Bickle's nocturnal shifts than of Bruce Willis in "Die Hard". "I can only work at night", he announces in a strangely uncontinued voice over at the beginning of the film.
The damp dead countryside and the dark underbelly of Paris. The piano, the bar, the guns, the long coats. Somehow, it never gets old. Also, the…
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