Monday, August 02, 2010

More New Wave

The fellow above is one Jean-Pierre Grumbach, and since I am into my French films, I figured to add him to the ever expanding hero list as well. His actual birthday is October 20th, 1917, and he was born in Paris, France. However, his films (and I have seen a lot of his films) are directed under the name of Jean-Pierre Melville. It seems that Melville was he favourite author, and so he took the name for his own.

After serving in the French Resistance during World War II, he applied for a license to become an assistant director and was refused. He said bollocks to that and started his own production company, and his first real film "LeSilence de la Mer" was shot with a skelton crew on a shoestring budget. It was to get much better for Melville, and his 1955 film "Bob le flambeur," while not a commercial success is an outrageously good film. During the first phase that I had of being interested in French cinema unearthed several more of his films "Le Samourai" "Un Flic" "Le cercle rouge" and "L'Armee des ombres" are all excellent films, and I recommend them all. He only did a total of fourteen films, but at least six of them are considered to be classics, not bad for a guy who was refused a license just to be an assistant director. I guess sometimes you just have to give "the man" the finger, and strike out on your own path.

He is not for everyone, and his films can be, to today's audiences where people can fly in films, slow paced, and focused too much on style. I suppose tastes change, and I am behind the times, but I will take Melville's worst film over some shit like "The Last Airbender" any day of the week. So, for those wonderful paced and plotted films, Jean-Pierre Melville (October 2oth, 1917-August 2nd, 1973 of a heart attack), you are my (352nd) hero of the day.

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