Saturday, December 08, 2007

Sometimes guilt is misplaced

I'm just a bit of a movie buff, but for whatever reason I've never bothered to investigate the cinema of France in general and the movies of the French "New Wave," Truffaut, Goddard, et al. in particular.

I'm also in love with film noir and while studying it I learned that the French were the first to use the term (hence, the term!) and that they made some good films in the genre.

Anyway, I decided to make good use of Netflix and remedy this situation.

So far, meh.

I started with one of the big ones, Truffaut's "The 400 Blows." It was good, for sure, but I wouldn't say great. I'd recommend it to others, but it was not the life changing experience I had been led to believe it would be. I was not, however, deterred.

Next was "Rififi,"directed by Jules Dassin who also directed several American films noir that I have enjoyed, including "Brute Force" and the original "Night and the City." This was better, but it was not- in my opinion- an example of film noir. There were some aspects (no hero, not happy ending, etc.) that fit with the genre, but basically it was a "caper" film. To put a finer point on it, the "philosophy" of the film would make it film noir, but the look of the film is too bright and open to qualify.

Still to come are "Le Samouri" (which I have high hopes for) and "Le Professionnel," we'll see...

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