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LE SAMOURAÏ
1967, Janus Films, 101 min, France/Italy, Dir: Jean-Pierre Melville

Director Jean-Pierre Melville’s best-known film stars Alain Delon as uber-cool assassin Jeff Costello, roaming the nasty streets of Paris looking for the slugs who betrayed him. PULP FICTION, HEAT, THE KILLER - this is where neo-noir truly begins, in the film’s steely, artificial blues and grays, in the alien beauty of Delon’s hitman. “A prose poem of silences and gestures interrupted by the occasional crack of a gun and a whispery sigh.” - Manohla Dargis, L.A. Weekly.


BOB LE FLAMBEUR
1956, Rialto Pictures, 98 min, France, Dir: Jean-Pierre Melville

Inspired by John Huston’s THE ASPHALT JUNGLE, Melville’s classic film is less a true noir than (in the director’s words) “a comedy of manners” - a romantic meditation on Montmartre, faithless women, old pros and casinos waiting to be knocked over. Suffused with an overwhelming sense of nostalgia, BOB was “a letter to a Paris which no longer existed.”


JOY HOUSE
LES FELINS
1964, EuropaCorp, 97 min, Dir: René Clément

Handsome gigolo Alain Delon, on the run from murderous thugs hired by the husband of one of his conquests, flees to the Riviera, where he takes refuge in a religious shelter operated by a rich, mysterious widow (Lola Albright). She hides him in her Gothic mansion, where he suddenly finds himself in a strange love triangle featuring the widow’s sex-starved niece (Jane Fonda). The twists (and curves) just keep coming at Delon, who might be in more danger in his hiding place. René Clément returns to form with this terrific transitional noir with one foot in both the past and the future. With a fabulous ’60s score from Lalo Schifrin. In French with English subtitles.


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