THE 10TH VICTIM
LA DECIMA VITTIMA
1965, Rialto Pictures, 92 min, Italy/France, Dir: Elio Petri

Decades before THE HUNGER GAMES or even THE RUNNING MAN, humans killed other humans for entertainment in THE 10TH VICTIM. This Carlo Ponti production is set in a world where war is virtually unknown, as violent people work out their aggression in the “Big Hunt.” Wealth and celebrity awaits anyone who can survive five rounds as a hunter and five as prey; original Bond girl Ursula Andress holds the shotgun here, with bleached-blond Marcello Mastroianni in her sights. As sharp as the leads look in this lively sci-fi satire, it’s Piero Poletto’s groovy-futuristic production design that truly dazzles.


LÉON MORIN, PRIEST
1961, Rialto Pictures, 117 min, France/Italy, Dir: Jean-Pierre Melville

In a French Alps village during WWII, widowed mother Barny (Emmanuelle Riva) walks into a confessional, but not as a believer; a communist and atheist, she is more concerned about the welfare of her daughter during the occupation. The priest she speaks to, Léon Morin (Jean-Paul Belmondo, wonderfully cast against type), proves exceptionally insightful, and as they begin to have philosophical conversations outside of church, she feels a growing attraction to the young man. Beautifully shot by cinematographer Henri Decaë, this is among the most thoughtful examinations of faith and its challenges ever made.


LE DOULOS
THE FINGERMAN
1962, Rialto Pictures, 108 min, France/Italy, Dir: Jean-Pierre Melville

Director Jean-Pierre Melville met actor Jean-Paul Belmondo during Melville's brief cameo in Godard’s BREATHLESS - here, he gives Belmondo one of his best roles, that of a two-faced informer caught between the police and his “old pal,” played by doom-faced Serge Reggiani. “It was only when LE DOULOS was finished and Belmondo saw himself on the screen that he realized, with great astonishment, ‘Christ! The stoolie is me!’” - Melville.


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