Thursday 31 July 2008

Romeo is Bleeding [1994]

Romeo is Bleeding is an exceedingly violent, over-stylized and distressing modern day noir, starring Gary Oldman, a respected though underrated character actor seen mostly in supporting roles, as the protagonist and the narrator of the story. He is a New York City cop with a lovely wife, a doting mistress and a good job. But he dreams of making big, monetarily that is; so he does dirty jobs for the Russian mafia on the sly in return for fat tips. But then he is asked to “take care of” a Russian over-sexed assassin – a sultry femme fatale who turns out to be more than a handful for him. Things thus take a horrible turn for him and soon he finds his life in complete shambles. Lena Olin, as the seductress is too violent, perverse and thoroughly repelling, and it’s a surprise that any smart, crooked cop with a decent sized brain would fall for her. The plot is engaging, but the tone is too unnecessarily bleak, pungently cynical and hopelessly shallow to be captivating. The only saving grace is Oldman’s brilliant turn as a brooding loner and an amoral anti-hero who realizes his foibles a tad too late. The final scene, too, is well presented; one can only hope that if only things had turned out a little differently (make that a lot) in the remaining movie as well, watching the movie wouldn't have turned out a disappointing experience.

Director: Peter Medak
Genre: Thriller/Post-Noir/Erotic Thriller
Language: English
Country: US

Monday 28 July 2008

Five Easy Pieces [1970]

Five Easy Pieces is in many ways a comparatively lesser hallowed and more sedate version of Easy Rider. Like the latter, this wonderful road movie strongly propounded the themes of moral detachment, spiritual emancipation and strong anti-establishmentarian sentiments. And along with Easy Rider, Chinatown and One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, it firmly established Jack Nicholson as the most distinctive spokeperson of a generation drenched in angst, urban alienation, disillusionment and rebelliousness. Directed by Bob Rafelson, Nicholson plays the role of Bobby Dupea, who is yet to find his place in the world and lives his life without any strings attached, as a proletariat, to flee from his suffocating bourgeois past, even though he was born in an affluent family and was a great musician in the making. The concoction of fast tracks, classical Western music and long moments of silence, coupled with the languid cinematography filled with realism, made this one of the finest movies of the turbulent Vietnam War era. And as for the brilliant Jack Nicholson, who provided a restrained and nuanced performance (in complete contrast to the volatile and dynamic roles he is generally associated with) as a loner and a reluctant intellectual at odds with the world around him and a quintessential archetype of Bob Dylan's iconic pronouncement “No Direction Home” – the less said about him is better lest I start speaking in clichés and hyperboles.

Director: Bob Rafelson
Genre: Drama/Road Movie/Psychological Drama//Existential Drama/Family Drama/Anti-Establishmentarian Movie
Language: English
Country: US

Saturday 26 July 2008

Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance [2002]

Park Chan-Wook’s acclaimed Vengeance Trilogy got a fabulous kick-start by Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance. The movie essentially comprises of multiple violent revenge tales presented in a single, scintillating package. A mute blue collar guy, in desperate need of money to get kidney transplant for his ailing sister, opts to sell his kidney at the black market in return for money, but gets robbed in the process. Conspiring with his politically active girlfriend, he decides to kidnap his boss’ daughter; but as is bound to happen, it goes horribly wrong. What follows is quintessential Park Chan-Wook. Even though it is a revenge movie, it very nearly missed being a thriller thanks to its lazy pace and philosophical tone. The long shots, screeching silences and detailed depictions of seemingly mundane events, are memorably contrasted with sudden bursts of nerve-wracking violence, kinetic action and black humour. A very well made movie, it also acts as a great precursor (and an introduction for those uninitiated to Park’s quirky style of filmmaking) to his brilliant masterpiece Oldboy and the poetic climax Sympathy for Lady Vengeance.

To read a detailed review by me on the complete Vengeance Trilogy, click here.

Director: Park Chan-Wook
Genre: Crime Thriller/Black Comedy/Revenge Movie/Psychological Drama
Language: Korean
Country: South Korea

Thursday 24 July 2008

Following [1998]

Filmed using 16-mm camera with grainy black-and-white films, only on weekends and on a tight financial leash, Following would be expected to be a good experimental effort by a wannabe filmmaker at the most. On the contrary, this British indie with a heavy leaning towards classic noirs (what with its Expressionistic B/W feel) has turned out to be a brilliant debut feature by Christopher Nolan. Told in flashbacks and employing fractured narratives, Following tells the tale of a down-and-out-of-luck two-bit writer, who out of severe loneliness and boredom develops the strange habit of following people. And as is usually the case in film noirs, this apparently harmless little habit, followed by his partnership with a fellow loner, and a relationship with a damsel in distress/femme fatale that starts developing out of thin air, sets him up for dark, ugly consequences and clears his path for his walk down to doom. The movie is well enacted and very well edited, and the twists are worth savouring. Watching this mesmerizing and beguiling piece of work would leave one in no doubt that Following is a prequel of sorts (and a damn worthy one at that) to Nolan’s audacious follow-up, Memento.

To read a larger review of Following by me, click here.

Director: Christopher Nolan
Genre: Thriller/Post-Noir/Psychological Thriller
Language: English
Country: UK

Tuesday 22 July 2008

Little Miss Sunshine [2006]

Just when you thought you are being served with yet another hackneyed tale of the American Dream gone awry, one is served with Little Miss Sunshine – a delicious, quirky, delirious, bitterly satirical black comedy that manages to stroke one’s head and hit a vicious punch below one’s belt with equal aplomb. A terrific chronicling of an eventful cross-country trip, to the eponymous beauty pageant for kids, undertaken by a fast-crumbling dysfunctional family, comprising of some of the most unforgettably atypical characters (each as idiosyncratic and obsessively self-occupied as the other), Little Miss Sunshine is as hilarious with its vitriolic humour as it is cerebral because of its wicked depiction of identity crisis and the vicious cycle of love and loss. Fantastic performance by every single member of its ensemble cast, aided by direction that is as good as one can aspire, has ensured that it isn't just a movie that has managed to break moulds with facile ease, it is also one of the finest on American Dream (lost and found) – you laugh, without realizing you are being gently pinched all the while.

Director: Jonathan Dayton
Genre: Black Comedy/Social Satire/Road Movie/Family Drama/Ensemble Film
Language: English
Country: US

Sunday 20 July 2008

Trainspotting [1996]

One of the most brutally honest depictions of drug addiction and an incredible movie by any standards, Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting is as unflinching in its boldness as it is mordant in its twisted sense of humour. The movie follows the wild, idiosyncratic and fascinating experiences of four die-hard British junkies. Audacious in its outlook and mesmerizing in its execution, the movie has managed to seamlessly merge elements that range from poetic to surreal to off-putting to nauseating. The passionately written and directed biting satire, with its kinetic pace and terrific soundtrack, also manages to convey sympathy for moral bankruptcy of as well as the memorable camaraderie between the characters brilliantly enacted by a bunch of character actors led superbly by Ewan McGregor. The grim, nihistic and wacky take on drug abuse and the dark, psychedelic, violent world of crack-heads and dopeheads might severely alienate (and even repel) the faint-hearted viewers; but it is an absolute must watch for cine-lovers as is evident by the movie’s huge cult status both in and outside Britain.

Director: Danny Boyle
Genre: Black Comedy/Social Satire/Buddy Film/Psychedelic Drama
Language: English
Country: UK

Friday 18 July 2008

Easy Rider [1969]

Naming one movie that managed to vividly capture the nuances, the rebelliousness, the freedom, the anti-establishmentarianism, the counter culture, the angst, and the existentialism postulated and typified by the hippie culture, would be exceptionally difficult, but Easy Rider would be right up there. Directed by one of the most versatile character actors of his generation, Denis Hopper, Easy Rider has managed to lucidly portray the thoughts and expressions of a generation. The tale of two bikers (the Zen-like Peter Fonda and his manic sidekick Hopper), without any strings attached to their existence, who have hit the road without their watches and with a whole lot of dope, criss-crossing through America in search of psychedelia, freedom, love and utopia, in other words America, was as relevant to the turbulent post-Vietnam War era as it is today. Jack Nicholson, as an alcoholic equally free-spirited and rebellious lawyer who isn’t a hippie but craves to be part of the journey, established himself as the premier thespian of his generation, and with his devilish charm and Cheshire grin as one of the most fascinating actors to have stepped in front of a motion picture camera. There have been numerous movies on the iconic hippie movement, but never quite one like Easy Rider.

Director: Dennis Hopper
Genre: Drama/Road Movie/Americana/Existential Drama
Language: English
Country: US

Tuesday 15 July 2008

Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (Chin-jeol-han Geum-ja-ssi) [2005]

Park Chan-Wook’s final chapter of his renowned “Vengeance Trilogy”, Sympathy for Lady Vengeance is a quirky, offbeat and absolutely irresistible thriller that endears itself to the viewers in spite of its violence-ridden subject matter. However, despite being a revenge flick, it is as different from its precursor Oldboy, as Oliver Stone’s Platoon was from Born on the 4th of July, even though both were deeply anti-war movies. While the former was as violent as a movie could get, in this one hardly gets to see much blood on screen. Yet both are connected by the common string of visual splendour. The over-employed tale of a falsely accused convict leveling the equation with his in this case, her perpetrator reaches an almost surreal, psycho-analytical plane as much because of its brilliantly stylized form as because of its deeply layered plot and character sketches. The movie is laced with a poetic amalgamation of screeching silences and evocative score, and interspersed with moments of great pathos with punches of a wicked sense of humour. Add to that terrific performances from every actor, especially by the beautiful protagonist (she's in fact so beautiful and innocent looking that she decides to put red lining around her eyes to look more cold and determined), and you have a movie as engaging as any in its genre. Whoever said “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” must surely be smiling in utmost appreciation.

To read a detailed review by me on the complete Vengeance Trilogy, click here.

Director: Park Chan-Wook
Genre: Thriller/Crime Drama/Psychological Thriller/Revenge Movie
Language: Korean
Country: South Korea

Sunday 13 July 2008

Y Tu Mamá También (And Your Mother Too) [2001]

Before his foray to America and a good half a decade before he made the remarkable psychological thriller Children of Men, Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón made the smashing sex-comedy Y Tu Mamá También. This bold-as-hell, carefree, whimsical, and deeply introspective film couldn’t have been more different from the gritty, paranoia-laden post-apocalyptic landscape of the latter. Road movies have rarely been as much fun or sexy as the one taken by the two young and hedonistic protagonists – representing literally the two sides of the same coin – along with a sympathetic older, married lady, in search for an elusive paradise on the Mexican Beach called Heaven’s Mouth (I guess the pun was intended). However their journey is anything but heavenly, as simmering jealousies, ego tussles and profound self-explorations lead the once inseparable buddies to the cross-roads of their friendship. Each character carries a baggage which they are reluctant to share. Consequently the self-discoveries and the revelation of the nuances of the personalities of their fellow travelers couldn’t have been more unanticipated or darkly funny. Laced with a sort of frank sexual openness that very few viewers would be comfortable with, unabashed in its usage of titillating innuendoes as well as in-your-face crassness, and filled with bitter humour, a deep sense of nostalgia and wonderfully underplayed pathos, the real journeys of the boys (now men) begin where their memorable cinematic journey concludes.

Director: Alfonso Cuaron
Genre: Comedy/
Sex Comedy/Teen Comedy/Coming-of-Age/Road Movie/Buddy Film
Language: Spanish
Country: Mexico

The Conversation [1974]

Sandwiched between two of America’s most iconic movies – The Godfather and its equally famous sequel The Godfather Part II, Francis Ford Coppola’s low-budget and far more personal effort The Conversation has unfortunately failed to attain recognition commensurate with its implosive quality. Devoid of any high-end production designs and quietly meditative in its tone, The Conversation raises serious issues like privacy vis-à-vis right to information, without taking any subjective standpoint. Gene Hackman, as a veteran surveillance expert and an obsessive loner, given the job of recording the conversation of a couple by the mysterious “Director”, is fabulous in his struggle between clinical efficiency, personal impassivity and pangs of conscience. An influential precursor to the German movie The Lives of Others, Ulrich Muhe’s terrific turn in the latter is heavily reminiscent of Hackman’s layered role here. Right from its wonderfully constructed long opening shot slowly zooming in on Union Square in San Francisco, Coppola has led the movie (through a great mixture of lazy elegance and gripping psychological foreplay) from indifference through a gradual propagation of fracture in the protagonist’s otherwise stoic façade to complete paranoia and psychological breakdown – as the ‘bugger’ ends up getting ‘bugged’ – and finally into cinematic excellence and a defining achievement of the great filmmaker.

p.s. The movie was lying with me for sometime now. So thanks is due to LAMB's MOTM feature for compelling me to watch it.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Genre: Drama/Psychological Drama/Spy Thriller
Language: English
Country: US

Saturday 12 July 2008

Nuovo Cinema Paradiso (New Cinema Paradise) [1988]

A beautifully composed film, Nuovo Cinema Paradiso is Italian director Giuseppe Tornatore’s loving and evocative homage to the world of cinema and a nostalgic look at the simple, unadulterated joys of movie going in the yesteryears. The coming-of-age story of a young boy’s journey (now a famous filmmaker) through poverty, experience of a wonderful friendship and first love, lost innocence, childhood, youth, heartbreak, celebrity-hood, world-weariness, and finally his return from Rome back home to the little village where he grew up thus completing a full cycle, in post-war Italy, is a truly marvelous, touching and heart-wrenching experience. All the while the only constant string is his tryst with the magical world of cinema, which started at the eponymous New Cinema Paradise theatre before completing the aforementioned journey, filled with joy, pain, smiles and tears, thanks in large parts to the passionately honest and heartfelt direction of Tornatore. The acting is exceptional, especially that of the character Alfredo film-projectionist and the protagonist Salvatore’s best friend during his formative years (the chemistry between them is unforgettable to say the least), the legendary music director Ennio Moricone’s haunting tunes amplify the sense of nostalgia and passing away of an era, and the climax of this timeless classic will surely move even the most hard-hearted cynics.

Director: Giuseppe Tornatore
Genre: Drama/Coming-of-Age/Romantic Drama/Buddy Film
Language: Italian
Country: Italy

Friday 11 July 2008

28 Days Later [2002]

If someone asks me to list movie genres in the order of my preference, zombie movies would be somewhere near the bottom; yet they have a strange lure for movie goers. So when I decided to watch 28 Days Later, directed by Danny Boyle (of Trainspotting fame), it was simply for old times’ sake and nothing more. However what I ended up watching was something unique in this cult genre. Apart from the chills, the blood, the gore and the zombies, the movie has subtle political, social, psychological and existential overtones. But all that aside, this is a first rate horror movie for the simple reason that it is damn terrifying. The direction, editing and cinematography have combined very well to create this (literally) heart-stopping post-apocalyptic movie – on the human population in England inflicted by a virus that produces uncontrollable and blood-curling rage – that lingered in my ‘blood’ for quite some time after the final credits had rolled.

Director: Danny Boyle
Genre: Horror/Sci-Fi Horror/Zombie Movie
Language English
Country: UK

Wednesday 9 July 2008

Munich [2005]

When anyone thinks of Spielberg, one tends to remember E.T., Schindler’s List or Jurassic Park. I, on the other hand, equate Munich as his finest achievement. This becomes all the more interesting when you realize that, on the one hand Spielberg is the director of some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters, and on the other Munich is an arthouse, low-budget film devoid of glossy production designs or huge special effects. The film, based on real events, chronicles the clinical execution of the members of a Palestinian terrorist group by an elite state-sponsored Israeli team - hand picked from and orchestrated by Mossad - to avenge for the horrific kidnapping and murder of Israeli athletes during the 1972 Berlin Olympic Games. Unhurried in its pacing, brilliantly narrated and exquisitely photographed (with an uncanny eye to details), the movie has been composed like a musical piece with its crescendos and diminuendos. Albeit its provocative content and depiction of one side of the scenario, this profound, visceral and magnetic film is one to be preserved for posterity – not just for its cinematic appeal, but also for its brilliant chronicling of one of history’s greatest manhunts.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Genre: Drama/Political Thriller/Revenge Movie
Language: English
Country: US

Monday 7 July 2008

Raging Bull [1980]

Arguably the most powerful American movie of the 80s, Raging Bull remains one of the finest films of one of the greatest filmmakers, Martin Scorcese. In fact, it is almost as good as Taxi Driver. A brutal, unsentimental and disturbing character study of a champion boxer’s fall from grace – from professional as well as personal standpoints, the movie raised the director’s favourite themes of guilt and man's futile attempts at redemption. Robert De Nero paired up with Scorcese to bring to screen yet another terrific and unforgettable portrayal of an exceedingly complex character – the violent, distrusting, self-destructive, passionately jealous, and severely flawed pugilist Jake La Motta. Joe Pesci, one of the most irresistibly amazing character actors (and not just of his generation), too, delivered an impeccable performance as the troubled prize-fighter’s brother who can take only so much of you-know-what. Brilliant black and white photography, a great script by Scorcese collaborator Paul Shrader, and a superbly edited narrative, combined with Scorcese’s genius at fascinating characterization, made this grim and harrowing tale of a fallen hero one of the most incredible portrayals of the darker and volatile forces of human nature.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Genre: Drama/Psychological Drama/Biopic
Language: English
Country: US

Sunday 6 July 2008

Rebels of the Neon God (Ch'ing Shaonien Na Cha) [1992]

Tsai Ming-Liang, one of the most prominent directors to have come out of the cinematically productive land of Taiwan, made his film debut with this oddball, whimsical, harrowing and deeply brooding parable on human loneliness and urban alienation. The paths of the severely disaffected son of a cab driver, and a brash chain-smoking thief who steals changes from telephone boxes and computer parts from video game stores he frequents along with his equally delinquent brother, cross when the latter deliberately vandalizes the cab while the former is riding in it along with his father. While the two brothers continue with their petty stealing and the elder of the two spends the remaining time making love to his casual girlfriend, the cabbie’s son starts following them in his quest for revenge. An extremely low-budget minimalist film (with camera movements, dialogues and music kept at bare minimum), the Taiwanese art-house movie is difficult to start with. Yet thanks to the visually poetic and psychologically jarring depiction of estrangement, juvenile rebelliousness (yes, James Dean does make a very special blink-and-you-miss appearance in the form of a poster from Rebel Without A Cause!), seedy neon-washed underbelly of Taipei’s urban jungle with all its squalor and decadence, and a curious mix of understated pathos and bleak irony, Rebels of the Neon God has become a cult Asian classic that deserves more dissertation and wider recognition.

Director: Tsai Ming-Liang
Genre: Urban Drama/Existential Drama/Experimental Movie
Language: Taiwanese
Country: Taiwan

The 400 Blows (Les 400 Coups) [1959]

The 400 Blows was the movie that, along with Breathless, literally kick-started the audacious and revolutionary Nouvelle Vague (the French New Wave) film movement. Like his equally celebrated contemporaries (Goddard, Chabrol et al), Francois Truffaut, a former film critic at Cashiers Du Cinema, left his desk job and entered cinema’s pantheon of legends with his seminal debut feature. This semi-autobiographical tale (drawn heavily from the life of the filmmaker) chronicles the troubled adolescence of Antoine Doinel, a rebellious and perennially misunderstood teenager with equally troubled parents, who prefers freedom and cinema over discipline and school-life. The lyrical storytelling, a nostalgic look at lost innocence and enduring friendship, and a poetic depiction of the city of Paris, Truffaut’s black-and-white masterpiece is an evocative and a loving homage to growing up. Though Antoine Doinel would keep returning in a series of features later, each depicting a phase of his life, The 400 Blows doesn’t just remain the best of the lot, it was also one of the few movies that had a profound and lasting effect on the entire word of cinema. And the freeze frame, that forms the parting shot for the film, remains a legendary icon of world cinema.

Note: My recent review of the film can be found here.

Director: Francois Truffaut
Genre: Drama/Urban Drama/Coming-of-Age/Buddy Film
Language: French
Country: France

Saturday 5 July 2008

Mr. Brooks [2007]

Cat and mouse tales between a smart-ass cop with a traumatic personal life/past and a brilliant psychopathic serial killer have been explored innumerable times, both in great movies like Seven and Silence of the Lambs, as well as in predictable run-of-the-mill thrillers. But in an interesting reversal of most psycho movies, Mr. Brooks places us directly in the mind of the pattern killer, letting us know his moves and his inner conflicts. Kevin Costner (cast very effectively against his type) stars as the eponymous Mr. Brooks – a rich entrepreneur, a respected philanthropist, and a doting father. However there’s one catch here; he is also the brilliant, meticulous and vicious ‘Thumb-Print Killer’. William Hurt is terrific as his complex split that has compelled Brooks to be addicted to murder, while Demi Moore is a detective, in the middle of a nasty divorce, with an enviable record against serial killers. A dark, compelling and innovative thriller with smart plot twists, dense narrative, moments of calculated suspense and chills, and interesting character developments, Mr. Brooks, which is honest enough to never attempt to reach high artistic standards, will surely provide sufficient guilty pleasure to movie buffs who are ready to follow the principle which goes by the name “suspension of disbelief”.

Director: Bruce A. Evans
Genre: Thriller/Psychological Thriller/Mystery
Language: English
Country: US

Memento [2000]

There are thrillers, and there are thrillers. The former come by dozens. But one gets to see only so much of the latter as this terrific offbeat modern noir, directed and adapted to screen by Christopher Nolan (from a short story by his brother) bears ample proof. Memento follows the cyclical journey of Leonard (Guy Pearce) aka Lenny - a former investigator for an insurance company, suffering from short-tern memory loss, who is desperately and meticulously (and damn ingeniously) searching for his wife’s murderer. Throw in the slippery glib-talking Teddy (Joe Pantoliano) who acts as if he is Lenny’s best buddy, and a cold and manipulative femme fatale Natalie (Carrie Ann-Moss) who knows an opportunity when she sees one, and you have a delectable trio to mount the perfect sucker punch. Told in reverse order, the mesmerizing, albeit fragmented, narrative allows the viewers to get a feel of the protagonists “condition”, as well as get to realize that nothing is what it seems – that everything (allies, enemies, victims) takes a new meaning as the movie progresses and the plot reverses. Great performances, a haunting soundtrack, a wacky sense of humour that is almost understated, a uniquely original style of storytelling – these add up to present an absolutely incredible film by one of the most sought after auteurs of this generation.

Director: Christopher Nolan
Genre: Crime Thriller/Post-Noir/Mystery
Language: English
Country: US

Friday 4 July 2008

Black Book (Zwartboek) [2006]

Controversial director Paul Verhoeven’s foray back to his native The Netherlands after spending two decades at Hollywood has resulted in the bold, slick and engaging war-time thriller Black Book. The movie clearly shows that the Dutch auteur’s ability to command big budgets, make good old-fashioned thrillers and his unquenchable knack for shocking his audience without as much batting an eyelid has not been dampened. The story, set during the near-end of the bloody World War II, follows a stunning (and wildly promiscuous) Jewish dame Rachel’s desperate struggle to stay alive at Hitler-ruled Holland, seek justice for the brutal slaying of her family through underground revolutionary movements, and survive (and prove her innocence) from the same guerrilla fighters after she falls for a Nazi officer Muntze and the two are nicely set-up by the vile, villainous immediate subordinate of the sympathetic Muntze. Some of the twists are very well concocted but for the final one which is too forced and uncalled for. Despite the unimpressive acting talents of the lead actress and a number of one-dimensional characters, the gorgeous production design and taut screenplay, in the expert (and surprisingly sympathetic) hands of the veteran director, have managed to engage the viewer insomuch as it is attractive to the eyes but not to the extent that he would ponder over it or would be staggering from its impact.

Director: Paul Verhoeven
Genre: Spy Thriller/War Drama/Action/Epic
Language: Dutch
Country: The Netherlands

Tuesday 1 July 2008

Le Samourai (The Samurai) [1967]

Considered by many as a definitive exploration of cloak-and-dagger tales and a restrained existentialist probing into the life of a contract killer, Le Samourai, directed by one of the stalwarts of French Nouvelle Vague Movement (though not as universally recognized) – Jean-Pierre Melwille, the movie follows a professional hitman’s slow decline from glory thanks to a minor blemish in an otherwise efficient assassination job at a Parisian nightclub. The blemish (in this case a fatal mistake) of course is that he has mixed pleasure (read 'heart') with work. The lucid narration, the minimalist set-pieces, the languid pacing, the evocative camera work, the subtle stylization, the storytelling that is more lyrical than taut (in a masterful genre-bending move), and a memorable anti-climax filled with irony and detached emotion, made this quite an engaging watch despite the plot holes. The obvious intent here is, style over substance, though not in a pejorative sense. This acclaimed French post-noir has been referred to by John Woo as closest to the mythical “perfect movie”.

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Genre: Post-Noir/Crime Thriller/Existential Drama/Gangster Movie
Language: French
Country: France