the eternal



Jean-Pierre Melville would have been 100 years old, and his exacting and recognizable cinema is anything but dated. On the contrary, thanks to its overall graphic abstraction, it illustrates a modernity of design, of concise expression, where everything is read in the eyes, the way one sits at a cabaret or stands erect in a trench coat- prime examples of aloof obscurity.




Fascinated by the United States, Melville was not such a fan and copier of its cinema, but rather looked to it as a source of inspiration, an imaginary muse that he used as eyeglasses to distort, reform and reinvent the thriller and gangster flick...Melville’s films noir would become grim and murky, like in Le Doulos- The Finger Man (1962), a harsh story with stifled sounds in an alternate Paris. A Paris of dangerous spots, where the hero, who no longer believes in mankind, kills cruelly, defeated. This hero, these heroes, including Bob the Gambler (1955), or the hero in Doulos, lose themselves in their own absolutes, refusing to become capable of living in the current world - so much less colorful and amusing than the world of human imagination, tucked away in a cozy cinema studio, where anything is possible.

Melville's works are hence also great studio films and much more: they are dreams of lives, of traveling in immediate worlds with extraordinary ambitions, worlds of those who gamble with life… even if it means losing in the end. One must enter his world.


Virginie Apiou


Melville Centenary
Bob the Gambler by Jean-Pierre Melville (1956, 1h38)
Lumière Bellecour Tue. 17 at 5:15pm I Comœdia Thu. 19 at 5pm I Lumière Fourmi Fri. 20 at 7:45pm I Pathé Bellecour Sat. 21 at 10pm
Le Doulos by Jean-Pierre Melville (1963, 1h48)

Pathé Bellecour Sun. 15 at 3pm I Le Méliès (Caluire) Thu. 19 at 8:30pm I Comœdia Fri. 20 at 10:45am I UGC Confluence Sat. 21 at 8:15pm

Categories: Lecture Zen