Thursday, November 17, 2022

Thursday Movie Picks: Book Adaptations


For the 45th week of 2022 as part of Wandering Through the Shelves' Thursday Movie Picks. We return to the subject of book adaptations as it is a subject often revisited considering that there’s a lot of films that are based on books. Even documentaries with some being controversial and often filled with a lot of bullshit. Here are my three picks as they’re all films by Jean-Pierre Melville:

1. Magnet of Doom
Based on Georges Simonon’s novel is a film in which a young boxer accompanies a banker from Paris to New York City to collect money in the hope he can be away from his family and other criminal forces. It is an unconventional film that stars Jean-Paul Belmondo and Charles Vanel as these two men who are both down on their luck as they travel to America in the hope they can get a new start but encounter trouble as they hide in New Orleans unsure and uncertain where to go and what to do next. It is a study of corruption and crime as it is one of many recurring themes that Melville would explore.

2. Le deuxieme souffle
An adaptation of Jose Giovanni’s novel that explore the story of an escaped criminal who takes part in one final job while being pursued by a police investigator. It seems like a typical cat-and-mouse film but Melville often does something different as it revolves around the criminal underworld in France where there are certain codes that criminals have to follow. It is a film that also explore these themes where there is no honor among thieves.

3. Army of Shadows
Joseph Kessel’s novel that revolves around the world of the French Resistance and the sacrifices they made during their time in Nazi-occupied France in World War II is definitely Melville’s finest work to date. Notably as it is a film that is unforgiving in what people had to do while it also play into the ideas of loyalty where so much is at stake. Even as it also showcase life in the prisons where there are moments that are chilling and discomforting to watch as well as those in the Resistance trying to escape the prisons. It is a film that needs to be seen as well as study about the dangers of war and life in Nazi-occupied France.

© thevoid99 2022


ruth said...

Oh Le deuxieme souffle sounds intriguing! I like Le Samouraï w/ Alain Delon but I should see more of Melville's work.

Birgit said...

I gave not seen any if these but they all sound really good.

ThePunkTheory said...

Wow, I haven't heard of any of your picks before but they all sounds super interesting.