Roger Duchesne in Bob le flambeur (dir. Jean-Piere Melville, 1956).
Montmartre after dark.
Melville's classic anti-heist film is so wonderful on so many levels that I don't know what to say. It's a flawless piece of construction that never feels mechanically contrived; a celebration of human singularity that never stoops to maudlin psychologizing. To say that the movie is all style is no slight to its depth. Soul and wit, compassion and irony are made indistinguishable.
If I could be beamed back to any point in history, possibly to stay, it might be Melville's Montmartre of the fifties (who knew street cleaners ever looked like that, anywhere?). And if that Montmartre is merely imaginary, I would gladly dwell in its phantasm.
And if Isabelle Corey were there as well, that would seal the deal.
Labels: Jean-Pierre Melville