Thursday, November 01, 2018
Thursday Movie Picks: Gangsters
For the 44th week of 2018 as part of Wandering Through the Shelves' Thursday Movie Picks series hosted by Wanderer. We delve into the subject of gangsters as it’s often a popular theme in films about a bunch of people wanting to make money by killing anything and anyone as well as live the good life. Of course, it’s a subject that will have films that are often talked about over and over again as my three picks are based on wanting to do something different as well as provide some exposure to the work of Jean-Pierre Melville. Here are my three picks of three films by Melville that I’ve seen so far:
1. Le deuxieme souffle
An escaped criminal is being pursued by a police inspector while he is given the chance to do one final job with a bunch of gangsters to steal platinum bars for a crime boss. It’s a film filled with a lot of complexities in the role of the gangster but also a type of code they all have to honor. Still, there is no honor among thieves as a heist that offers so much can prove to be just as troubling as it is one of Melville’s finest films despite not being seen often in comparison to his other films.
2. Le Samourai
While it’s more of a character study about a hitman who lives by a code that keeps him out of trouble, it is still set in the world of the gangsters. Yet, it’s a film that has Melville take inspiration from the samurai films of Akira Kurosawa as it is an offbeat yet entrancing film that plays into a man trying to maintain an anonymity that is becoming harder to live by as he’s being pursued by a police superintendent. Featuring an incredible performance Alain Delon in the titular role, it is one of these films that is a must-see for anyone interested in the world of crime films.
3. Le Cercle Rouge
Two criminals meet up and join forces with a former police officer as they plan a robbery in the hopes to get rich yet they’re dealing with all sorts of problems during this journey leading up to the robbery. One of the criminals is still in pursuit by the police while the former cop who is a marksman is dealing with alcoholism as they’re all trying to keep it together. It’s an unconventional gangster film of sorts yet it is one of the finest that definitely strays from the conventions of the genre that includes this thirty-minute heist sequence that is so meticulous in its attention to detail as it doesn’t feature a lot of dialogue. Still, it is a moment of suspense told with such precision and subtlety by Melville.
© thevoid99 2018