The modern heist movie was invented in Paris in 1954 by Jules Dassin, with “Rififi,” and Jean-Pierre Melville, with “Bob le Flambeur.” Dassin built his film around a 28-minute safe-cracking sequence that is the father of all later movies in which thieves carry out complicated robberies. Working across Paris at the same time, Melville’s film, which translates as “Bob the High Roller,” perfected the plot in which a veteran criminal gathers a group of specialists to make a big score. The Melville picture was remade twice as “Ocean’s Eleven,” and echoes of the Dassin can be found from Kubrick’s “The Killing” to Tarantino’s “Reservoir Dogs.” They both owe something to John Huston’s “The Asphalt Jungle” (1950), which has the general idea but not the attention to detail. Continue reading
IMDB quote 1: Three stories of well-off youths who commit murders. In the French episode a group of high school students kill one of their colleagues for his money. In the Italian episode a university student is involved in smuggling cigarettes. In the English episode a lazy poet finds the body of a woman on the downs, and tries to sell his story to the press.
IMDB quote2: This was Antonioni’s third film and arguably his rarest from the pre-AVVENTURA period. Taking an episodic structure, it is a sober treatment of juvenile delinquency – showing a widespread alienation affecting the youth of the post-war years in various European cities. The film has a rough, torn-from-the-headlines feel to it – even if the director’s perspective isn’t nearly as acute as in his later, more polished work (tending also towards preachiness, beginning from the opening montage). Continue reading
“This critically acclaimed French drama blends film noir and science fiction elements in a story about a strange and deadly plague. A sexually transmitted disease called STBO is sweeping the country; it’s spread by having sex without emotional involvement, and most of its victims are teenagers who make love out of curiosity rather than commitment. While a serum that can treat the disease has been formulated, it’s been locked away in an inaccessible government building, and most of those suffering can’t get at it. A woman known as “The American” (Carroll Brooks) has hired Marc (Michel Piccoli), who is deep in debt and desperate for cash, to steal the drug; Marc enlists the aid of Alex (Denis Lavant), the teenage son of one of his close friends, to help pull off the robbery. Alex is in love with Lise (Julie Delpy), a girl his age that he’s been involved with, but he finds himself attracted to Anna (Juliette Binoche), Marc’s younger lover who is determined to stand by her man. Mauvais Sang received the Alfred Bauer Prize at the Berlin International Film Festival and the International Fantasy Film Award at the Fantasporto Film Festiva”. — Mark Deming (AMG) Continue reading
Marseilles, 1919. Georges Sarret is a distinguished and respected lawyer, recently honoured for his services in the First World War. He takes as his lover Philomène Schmidt, a young German woman, who has just lost her job and home. To enable Philomène to remain in France, Georges finds her a husband – who dies conveniently of natural causes a month after the wedding. Georges repeats the trick with Philomène’s sister, Catherine – marrying her off to an old man who dies suddenly so that the scheming trio can profit from his life insurance. When an accomplice in the scheme, Marcel Chambon, threatens to blackmail them, Georges and his two lovers have no option but to kill him and his mistress. Having dissolved the bodies in sulphuric acid, Georges hires another man to pose as Chambon so that he can secure his assets. Flush with the success of this venture, Georges proposes his most ambitious scam: he will insure Catherine’s life with five separate insurance companies; a young orphan woman who is dying from tuberculosis will provide Catherine’s death certificate when the moment comes. Unfortunately, the scheme does not go quite as planned… Continue reading
Koreyoshi Kurahara’s ingeniously plotted, pocket-sized noir concerns the intertwining fates of a desperate bank manager, blackmailed for book-cooking, and his resentful but timid underling, passed over for a promotion. Elegantly stripped-down and carefully paced, Intimidation (Aru kyouhaku) is a moody early film from one of the Japanese New Wave’s preeminent stylists. Continue reading
A stylish, 70’s-period crime thriller inspired by true events, The Connection tells the story of real-life Marseilles magistrate Pierre Michel (Academy Award, Winner Jean Dujardin, The Artist, The Wolf of Wall Street) and his relentless crusade to dismantle the most notorious drug smuggling operation in history: the French Connection.
In his crosshairs is charismatic and wealthy kingpin, Gatean “Tany” Zampa (Gilles Lellouche, Point Blank, Mesrine: Killer Instinct), who runs the largest underground heroin trade into the States. Though the fearless and tenacious Michel, aided by a task force of elite cops, will stop at nothing––including boldly orchestrated drug raids, devastating arrests, and exacting interrogations––to ensure the crime ring’s demise, Zampa’s “La French” always seems one step ahead. Continue reading
A group of teens are having a fun night out at a bar until a gang takes the entire clique hostage. They torture the boys and rape the girls. After that night, nothing is the same anymore and the group has massive difficulties dealing with the situation. This movie is a very realistic expression of the outcomes of social stratification, poverty, and inequality on different parts of the society. In this movie, you are let into the minds of whom many like to refer to as psychopaths and see the world from their eyes. You understand their reasoning, loss of aim and the slow transformation from troubled people to those -after having been made to accept being outsiders- who have lost everything they have and thereof can do anything, regardless of any value and concept associated with humanity such as love, affection, empathy,honor,self-respect. The psychos in the movie hadn’t committed any crime till the story, none was recorded a least. And the crime committed the night of the story was not planned. This alone explains the threshold concept.
(amazon.com) Continue reading