Mitchum's natural insouciance - in full-swing here - makes him seem less a moth drawn to a flame than someone who finds roleplaying that type a more edifying path than his alternatives, in turn making this an extra-cynical and extra-funny noir.
"Philippe Grandrieux’s Despite the Night is a relentlessly morose, miasmic thing that, like much of his work, alternately seeks to narcotize and brutalize its viewer into submission until the distinctions between agony and ecstasy, tenderness and violation, are indistinguishable. Grandrieux is, in many respects, a wildly contradictory figure: a tough sell for most audiences; an easy pitch for prospective fans (the maximalist Denis? the haptic Lynch? the narrative Brakhage? the goth Malick? etc); a niche artist even in the realm…