Wednesday, May 10
(1962) First things first for back-from-the-slammer Serge Reggiani: a piece-of-cake heist. But why are the flics here already? Could there be a doulos – “squealer” in French underworld argot? A-list gangster Jean-Paul Belmondo is a prime candidate for the title. But then the head-snapping plot twists start coming. 35mm. Approx. 108 min.
“MELVILLE REACHES HIS FULL ARTISTIC MATURITY. Technically, stylistically and poetically this film represents the first, perfectly rounded work where the filmmaker expresses his full directorial potential. Suspense rhythmically rises in a montage of surgical finesse, the plot moves forward in layers sidestepping the narrative conventions of the genre while interlacing its own internal logic. The final climax pulls all the loose strings together in an act of narrative bravura that denotes a cultivated talent the likes of which French cinema will seldom experience again.”
“A tricky, attitude drenched thriller… interspersed with sudden spasms of violence.”
– J. Hoberman
“Brutal and subtly brilliant… underscores why the French put the name to Film Noir.”
– Manohla Dargis, The New York Times