ALPHAVILLE
ALPHAVILLE, UNE ETRANGE AVENTURE DE LEMMY CAUTION
1965, Rialto Pictures, 99 min, France/Italy, Dir: Jean-Luc Godard

Lemmy Caution (Eddie Constantine) is on a mission to eliminate Professor Von Braun, the creator of a malevolent computer that rules the city of Alphaville. Befriended by the scientist's beautiful daughter, Natasha (Anna Karina), Lemmy must unravel the mysteries of the strictly logical Alpha 60 and teach Natasha the meaning of the word “love.” Akim Tamiroff costars in this noir-ish sci-fi favorite, which won the Golden Bear at the 1965 Berlin Film Festival.


POISON IVY
LA MOME VERT-DE-GRIS
1952, Pathe, 97 min, France, Dir: Bernard Borderie

The first of Eddie Constantine’s (France’s biggest star of the 1950s) jokey, self-referential Lemmy Caution tales, LA MOME VERT-DE-GRIS also features blonde bombshell Dominique Wilms, who leaves every man she meets during the film’s delirious action more than a little breathless. As Bertrand Tavernier noted, Constantine’s alter ego Lemmy Caution is the template for James Bond - though he’s clearly more hangdog and unkempt than the suave British spy. But Constantine wins us over with his crooked smile, his love of liquor and women, and his reckless courage in the face of gunfire. LA MOME VERT-DE-GRIS makes it clear why Paris was at Eddie’s feet in the ’50s, and you’ll want to scratch that itch for more Lemmy!


THE LONG GOOD FRIDAY
1980, HandMade Films, 114 min, UK, Dir: John Mackenzie

One of the all-time great gangster movies. Harold Shand (Bob Hoskins) has clawed his way to the top of the London underworld, but hopes to achieve bigger things through an alliance with the Mafia. But just as Shand is about to seal the deal with the Americans, his criminal empire comes under violent assault from an unknown enemy. Hoskins made his bones as a lead actor with a performance that’s mesmerizing from first appearance to final car ride. Helen Mirren costars.


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