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.


BEWARE OF A HOLY WHORE
WARNUNG VIR EINER HEILIGEN NUTTE
1971, Janus Films, 103 min, Germany, Dir: Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Semi-autobiographical and supposedly based on his Spanish shoot of WHITY, Fassbinder’s tale of a film set gone wrong is a deliciously absurd satire. When actors and crew (among them Hanna Schygulla, Fassbinder and Eddie Constantine as himself) arrive for a shoot only to realize that the script and director are nowhere to be found, a Waiting for Godot-style escalation of anxieties, jealousies and existential despair takes hold - only to be capped by a ridiculously funny deus ex machina when tyrannical director Jeff (Lou Castel) finally swoops down in a helicopter. In German with English subtitles.


Syndicate content