This blogpost isn’t just about Le Circle Rouge or Un Flic, it’s about the collective body of work of Jean Pierre Melville. You need to see this stuff.
Melville had his own studio at one point, his films made money, he was popular and a real character who lived the life of his dreams and made others pay for it. He died too young, but left behind some great films about cops, gangsters and showgirls.
He was before the New Wave, but a big influence on it. If you only get to see one film Le Samurai is great, but I’d prefer you watched Bob Le Flambeur, which is an earlier work, but lovely, romantic and a perfect impression of Melville’s channelling of American gangsters into Paris.
There’s joy in Melville’s films. Catch as many as you can. Below is the trailer for Le Samurai
So, 66 films to go…
Matthew Cooper has written for Emmerdale, Eastenders, Hollyoaks and Family Affairs. He was winner of the first ever Lloyds Bank Channel Four Film Challenge and the Oscar Moore Screenplay Prize. His first short film starred a then unknown Ewan McGregor and was picked up by Channel Four when Matthew was 19 years old. He’s been a script writer for hire and filmmaker for hire for over 20 years.