Homage: Jean-Pierre Melville

January 2018: A Day in the Life of a Clown, The Silence of the Sea, Bob the Gambler, Léon Morin, Priest, The Finger Man, The Army of Shadows, The Red Circle

 

 

 
On the occasion of Jean-Pierre Melville’s centennial (born on 20th of October 1917) the Cinema Lumière in collaboration with the French Institute presents a selection of Melville’s films. Three fine examples of Melville’s noir inclinations will be screened (Bob the Gambler, Le Doulos and Le Cerle rouge) which influenced filmmakers as varied as the French New Wave enfant terrible Jean-Luc Godard, the US video-store-geek-turned-director-superstar Quentin Tarantino and the Chinese-born Hong-Kong action-movie master John Woo. Moreover, three films set during the German occupation of France during the World War II will be screened: Melville’s feature-length debut Le Silence de la mer (The Silence of the Sea), Léon Morin, Priest with the great cast of Emanuelle Riva (of Resnais’ Hiroshima mon amour fame) and Jean-Paul Belmondo and the early post-may 1968 era film The Army of Shadows starring Lino Ventura and Simone Signoret (which gained international recognition only much later on). Melville’s short 24 Hours in the Life of a Clown will be screened before The Silence of the Sea. The retrospective is organized in collaboration with Institut Français.

  

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The Silence of the Sea + short film: A Day in the Life of a Clown | Homage: Jean-Pierre Melv

Le Silence de la mer; Jean-Pierre Melville, 1949, OV (franc.) + AT | Pocta: Jean-Pierre Melville ; Jean-Pierre Melville, 1949, versions: OR

1941 in a small town in Nazi occupied France. Against the will of its elderly male and his adult niece residents, the Nazis commandeer a house for one of their officers, Lt. Werner von Ebrennac, to live in for as long as he is in the area on Nazi business. As a figurative and literal silent protest against the Nazis and the officer, the uncle and niece do whatever is required of them while the officer is in their house, however they do not acknowledge his presence, living largely in silence whenever he is around. The officer treats the housing situation with care, like he is a guest. Although not a nightly occurrence, the officer begins an evening routine with his reluctant hosts: in his civilian clothes, he knocks on the door of the room in which they have convened for the evening, walking in shortly thereafter knowing that no acknowledgment will be made for him to enter, he visits with them for no more than five minutes before he bids them a good evening as he exits. During these visits, he speaks reverently about, among other things, culture - music and literature in particular as he is a composer and musician - his national pride, his love of France, and what he hopes will emerge from the war, namely a strong and free France, stronger than it was before the war, and the marriage between the French and German cultures which will enrich the lives of all Europeans. All the while, he makes no expectations from them, either to listen, or to answer if they are indeed listening. At the end of what ends up being his six month stay at the house, he does end up having a profound effect on the uncle and niece, despite that effect being largely unacknowledged, as his stay in France has a profound effect on him, opening up his eyes to the reality of the war based largely on his first ever visit into Paris. Short film: A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A CLOWN r. Jean-Pierre Melville * France* 1946 * 18‘ * OV (french) + ES A day in the life of Beby the clown. Filmed between shows at Circus Medrano, at home and in the streets of Paris, with his faithful partner and friend the clown Maïss. Legend: OV - original version ES - english subtitles Show more

2D OR 15
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Bob the Gambler | Homage: Jean-Pierre Melville

Bob le flambeur; Jean-Pierre Melville, 1956, OV (franc.) + AT | Pocta: Jean-Pierre Melville ; Jean-Pierre Melville, 1956, versions: OR

In Paris' Montmartre district, everyone knows Bob, a well-dressed compulsive gambler. He's generous, moralistic, drives a two-toned convertible coupe, lives in a swank apartment, and has the respect of the police. But he's on a losing streak, and even when he hits it big at the track, he loses at the Deauville casino. When he learns that the casino keeps a fortune on Grand Prix weekend, he plots a robbery. Subplots trace a seemingly innocent coquette's social climb and the greed of a croupier's wife who betrays the thieves. >imdb.com Show more

2D OR 15
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Léon Morin, Priest | Homage: Jean-Pierre Melville

Léon Morin, prêtre; Jean-Pierre Melville, 1961, OV (franc.) + AT; Jean-Pierre Melville, 1961, versions: OR

In World War II, the widow Barny sees the Italian soldiers arriving in occupied Saint Bernard while walking to her job. Barny lives with her daughter and works correcting tests and feels a great attraction toward her boss Sabine. When the Germans arrive, Barny sends her half-Jewish daughter to live in a farm in the countryside and finds that Sabine's brother has been arrested and sent to a concentration camp. The atheist Barny decides to baptize her daughter to protect her and chooses priest Léon Morin to discuss with him themes related to religion and Catholicism and Léon lends books to her. Barny converts to the Catholicism and becomes closer to Léon, feeling an unrequited desire for him. >imdb.com Show more

2D OR 15
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The Finger Man | Homage: Jean-Pierre Melville

Le Doulos; Jean-Pierre Melville, 1962, OV (franc.) + AT; Jean-Pierre Melville, 1962, versions: OR

Burglar Maurice Faugel has just finished his sentence. He murders Gilbert Vanovre, a receiver, and steals the loot of a break-in. He is also preparing a house-breaking, and his friend Silien brings him the needed equipment. But Silien is a police informer ... A movie whose "all characters are two-faced, all characters are false", according to director Jean-Pierre Melville. >imdb.com Show more

2D OR 15
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The Army of Shadows | Homage: Jean-Pierre Melville

L’Armée des ombres; Jean-Pierre Melville, 1969, versions: OR , ES : fra

In 1942, French engineer and Resistant cell leader Philippe Gerbier is arrested and sent to a concentration camp. He manages to escape, and together with Felix Lepercq and Resistance hit-man Claude "The Mask" Ullmann, they kidnap the traitor that gave him away to the Germans and execute him. Gerbier travels to London to discuss Allied logistical support for the Resistance; meanwhile, Felix is captured by the Germans and tortured. Resistance members Mathilde, Guillaume "Bison" Vermersch, and the Mask try unsuccessfully to rescue him. But Jean François Jardie, brother of Resistance commandant Luc Jardie, sacrifices himself to deliver a cyanide pill to Felix in prison. As the months go by the organization continues its clandestine operations until the day a captured member, tortured by the Germans, becomes a threat to the mission. He will have to be assassinated. >imdb.com Photo source : © Studio Canal Show more

2D OR ES 15
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The Red Circle | Homage: Jean-Pierre Melville

Le Cerle rouge; Jean-Pierre Melville, 1970, OV (franc.) + AT; Jean-Pierre Melville, 1970, versions: OR

On the eve of his release after five years imprisoned, the thief Corey is contacted by one guard of the prison that offers him a jewelry heist. However Corey seeks out his former boss Rico and steals money from him. Rico sends two gangsters to hunt Corey down and retrieve the stolen amount. Meanwhile the criminal Vogel is transported by train by the Police Officer Mattei and succeeds to escape. Corey drives from Marseille to Paris and Vogel hides in the trunk of his car. Corey finds him but does not object to ride Vogel to Paris hidden in the trunk. When the gangsters sent by Rico cut in Corey's car, Vogel saves him from the criminals, but Corey loses the money. Without money, Corey decides to heist the jewelry with Vogel and invites the former police detective Jansen to team-up with them. The trio executes a perfect heist but Rico is seeking revenge and Mattei is an unethical but efficient police officer capable to use any means to resolve the case. >imdb.com Show more

2D OR 15
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