82 Great Directors: Jean-Pierre Melville

” I’d usually see five films a day. Fewer than five and I’d get withdrawal symptoms. I’ve always had a screening room at home so I could watch a couple of American films after dinner.”

What Got This Director Here?
: Mostly Le Samourai.

My Favorite Past Experience Was…: Army of Shadows, which I need to rewatch.

What Did I Watch: Le Samourai.

Where Does He Fit: Le Samourai can be safely considered one of the most influential films ever made, and by god it earns it. Everything is so nasty and methodical in its workings, a world where everything is picture perfect and the first instinct after the finale is to clean up the instruments in disarray, yet the code of honor works out so that the only woman worth sparing is a minority whose profession is the only one that feels human, not grimly methodical. Alain Delon’s performance is brilliant in how boring it is, a man who expresses very little emotion and is arguably the most successful person in the system just by virtue of how he does it all right. We all want to be Jeb, but that is still a horrible way to live. France in the 60s was clearly pretty fucked up even with the modern shine that gets spun onto this.


Most Valuable Asset: Strict style.
Most Excited For: Le Cercle Rouge.
Did They Deserve a Spot?: Yes.

Coming Up Next: Documentarian Claude Lanzmann.


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