This EW review’s a few months old, but I’d like to share it for most of you film-enthusiasts out there:
Modern movies gangsters wouldn’t know how to pull a trigger without him. And the toughsters favored by Quentin Tarantino or the techno-fetishists fancied by the Wachowski brothers would be nowhere, unplugged, without the films of Jean-Pierre Melville to guide them. “The coolest, most stylish auteur of his time,” is how acolyte John Woo described the late filmmaker (he died in 1973 at the age of 55), whose 13 films include Bob le Flambeur (1955) and Le Samourai (1967).
Now Woo-the director of the 1989 Hong Kong gangster classic The Killer- Is billed as the presenter of a new, uncut, beautifully restored version of Melville’s 33-year old French Gangster classic, Le Cercle Rouge…
And within le cercle- a pseudo-mystical notion of men cinched together by a penchant to go bad-Melville creates a world of lonely cats and mice, cops and robbers whose destinies are bound up in a jewel heist that takes place in gorgeously choreographed silence.
Melville muse Alain Delon, the essence of cool in his trenchcoat and snap-brim hat, is a brooding ex-con; Gian Maria Volonte is a prison escapee with the law nipping at his heels; and Yves Montand is a retired cop hounded by a trippy case of alcoholic delirium. Paris has never looked so inky, or nightclub ladies so aloof.
Le Cercle Rouge is the antidote to every square tough-guy cape you’ve ever seen, and the inspiration for many great ones.
It was re-released in a few arthouse theaters a while back, so that means that a DVD should be on the way soon.
I have to say that I’ve been real slow to embrace French Cinema, but this one really sounds like it’s up my alley. And the French New Wave is basically the last genre that I’ve yet to cover and LE CERCLE ROUGE certainly sounds like the place to start.
Plus the enthusiasm that Tarantino shared about Melville on the
Res-Dogs “tributes & dedications” feature is further proof that the magic that Melville created with his films is still there and should warrant a viewing.
Plus It’s a special treat to see Spaghetti Western legend, Gian Maria Volante in a diffrent light!
Has anybody here ever seen a Melville flick?