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Author Topic: Jean-Pierre Melville  (Read 3866 times)
dave jenkins
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« Reply #60 on: May 24, 2017, 10:50:23 AM »

The film was lit that way. I saw it on 35mm and 16mm.
Which way? The way it appears on the CC, or on the SC?

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« Reply #61 on: May 24, 2017, 12:25:05 PM »

Leon Morin, extended yet again! (now until the 30th at FF)

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« Reply #62 on: May 28, 2017, 03:55:58 AM »

Which way? The way it appears on the CC, or on the SC?

I lost track, the thread goes all over the place...

I was talking about LES DOULOS. Which has a lot of contrast, by design...
The Criterion represents it very well I thought. I don't know the SC...

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« Reply #63 on: May 28, 2017, 07:44:15 AM »

I lost track, the thread goes all over the place...

I was talking about LES DOULOS. Which has a lot of contrast, by design...
The Criterion represents it very well I thought. I don't know the SC...
Oh, OK. I thought you were talking about Army of Shadows.

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« Reply #64 on: May 29, 2017, 01:38:08 AM »

Speaking of comparing Studio Canal to Criterion  (though these are not Melvilles, they are French crime films, so close enough Wink )

Touches Paz Au Geisbi and Le Trou each have been released on Criterion and Studio Canal. (The SC version costs much less.) Anyone know which is preferable for these two movies? Thanks  Smiley


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« Reply #65 on: May 30, 2017, 03:34:10 PM »

Speaking of comparing Studio Canal to Criterion  (though these are not Melvilles, they are French crime films, so close enough Wink )

Touches Paz Au Geisbi and Le Trou each have been released on Criterion and Studio Canal. (The SC version costs much less.) Anyone know which is preferable for these two movies? Thanks  Smiley

Not that it helps, but Studio Canal will release blu-rays for both movies based on new restorations mid July. That should at least blow the old DVD's out of the water picture quality wise. No clue what they will have extras wise.

http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=20882 (the dates have been pushed bak since that announcement).

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« Reply #66 on: May 30, 2017, 05:01:07 PM »

Not that it helps, but Studio Canal will release blu-rays for both movies based on new restorations mid July. That should at least blow the old DVD's out of the water picture quality wise. No clue what they will have extras wise.

http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=20882 (the dates have been pushed bak since that announcement).

Thanks!!  Afro

I'll wait  Smiley

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« Reply #67 on: June 02, 2017, 06:00:51 PM »

Leon Morin extended yet again (Now until June 6). What is it New Yorkers get that Drink cannot begin to fathom? Probably everything.

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« Reply #68 on: June 14, 2017, 06:43:39 AM »

Is it possible I haven't posted in this yet?

I like both The Samurai and The Red Circle. Melville has a way of invoking the noir feel in colour and his movies are beautiful to look at (a young Alain Delon is always a bonus Wink), and I love a well-done downer ending. His style also certainly had roots in the French poetic realism (which I like to sum up as "Jean Gabin, who does not yet look like a grandpa, plays a Doomed Working Class Hero and dies. It's probably raining. There is a 90% chance for mist").

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« Reply #69 on: June 25, 2017, 12:39:54 AM »

I just saw Army of Shadows a second time (Criterion DVD, rented from Netflix) 8/10

I wish it some more action. At least one good "Resistance" scene showing them blowing up a train or killing some Nazis or something like that. In this movie, all the group seems to be "resisting" is resisting arrest by the Nazis. The only actual offensive action (as opposed to defensive) we seem them take is killing the informer.

BTW, the scene in Paul Meurisse's house, the music playing is the fifth movement of Beethoven's 6th Symphony, known as the Pastoral Symphony. (Yes, the Pastoral is a rare symphony with five movements, instead of the traditional four.)

Here is a performance of the Pastoral by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Leonard Bernstein https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2VY33VXnrQ
The 5th movement begins at 34:56

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« Reply #70 on: June 25, 2017, 12:12:19 PM »

I just saw Army of Shadows a second time (Criterion DVD, rented from Netflix) 8/10

I wish it some more action. At least one good "Resistance" scene showing them blowing up a train or killing some Nazis or something like that.
No, no, no. This is not that kind of movie. You are missing the whole point.

Quote
In this movie, all the group seems to be "resisting" is resisting arrest by the Nazis. The only actual offensive action (as opposed to defensive) we seem them take is killing the informer.
Informers. Don't forget the one at the end.

This film brilliantly exposes the myth of the resistance. What did those guys (and gals) actually accomplish? They put all their energy into resisting arrest (as you say), escaping from prison, killing each other. Did they shorten the war? No. Did they achieve retribution on their occupiers? Not in any meaningful way. Did they punish collaborators? Yes, but so what, and most of that came after the war anyway. The whole project was a colossal waste, but spun by de Gaulle and others to help the French feel better about themselves during and immediately after the war.

Melville's genius move was to ignore the usual jingoist approach to the material and present everything as if it were one of his crime dramas. The police are the Nazis (and their French underlings). The crooks are the Resistors. As in the crime films, there is an equivalence established between the two groups. What is paramount, though, is the dynamic within the groups, especially that of the Resistors: loyalty is important, but it is always betrayed, and thus, retribution is constantly being exacted. There are no larger issues--everything else, the fight against the Occupation, the war, are McGuffins.

The proof that this was intentional on Melville's part is in how he made changes to his source material. In reality, the attempt to spring the guy from prison using the phony nurse was successful. Melville shows that as being a whole lot of nothing. At the end of the movie, we are told that all the members of the cell were captured and executed, but the character Ventura played actually survived the war. Melville made things worse than they really were, probably to underline the fact that the whole enterprise was pointless. Or, if not pointless, than an opportunity for transcendence that only a few characters could experience (e.g. the guy who denounces himself so he'll be arrested so that he can get into prison with his colleague).

This film is so much better than you can know, Drink. Please don't try to pull it down to your level. Stay with the crime films that are pitched to the 13-year-olds.

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« Reply #71 on: June 25, 2017, 08:08:59 PM »

Spoiler alert for "Army of Shadows"

---

Yes, Melville exploded the myth and romance of the Resistance, and used a gangster-movie style. Still, I think there should have been one scene at the beginning where they show the Resistance on offense. Show why the Nazis are arresting these people. The entire movie is nothing but defense - the only people who die are informers, and one Nazi who Ventura kills as he is escaping arrest.

p.s. I do not believe there is any way that Signoret would have been a snitch. She'd have said nothing, meaning her daughter would have been taken to the whorehouse. The group puts her out of her misery - thereby probably saving her daughter; once Signoret is dead, the Nazis will probably leave her daughter alone.

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« Reply #72 on: July 04, 2017, 01:56:23 AM »

I want to buy a disc of ARMY OF SHADOWS. Now that I have a region-free player, anyone have an  opinion on which disc is best, regardless of region?

BTW, I was looking at Beaver's screencaps http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film2/DVDreviews26/army_in_the_shadows.htm

He does not mention a Studio Canal version. He compares three versions: BFI Video, Criterion DVD, and Criterion BRD.  If you look at a screencaps (which, I always note, are untrustworthy  Wink ) to me it seems that on the Criterion BRD, the color is washed out or muted compared to the DVD. For example, buildings that have a yellow tinge in the DVD look whiter in the BRD.


There may not be a reason for me to pay extra for the BRD as opposed to the DVD.

And Beaver doesn't even mention Studio Canal.

Anyone have an opinion on this?

Thanks  Smiley

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« Reply #73 on: July 04, 2017, 03:53:34 AM »

I have the Studiocanal blu-ray but haven't watched it yet.
It is reviewed here tho (with screencaps): http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Army-of-Shadows-Blu-ray/66157/
It says it uses the same source as the Criterion blu-ray, but with a slightly different color grading.

Edit: Caps-a-holic has both the Criterion & Studiocanal blu-rays in their database: https://www.caps-a-holic.com/c_list.php?c=257 so you can compare them quite nicely.
For instance: https://www.caps-a-holic.com/c.php?a=1&x=592&y=212&d1=2511&d2=2512&s1=23102&s2=23093&l=0&i=5&go=1

« Last Edit: July 04, 2017, 03:59:32 AM by XhcnoirX » Logged

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« Reply #74 on: July 15, 2017, 11:11:58 AM »

In a BFI press release detailing a Melville film series in UK cinemas, the following info is added parenthetically:
Quote
STUDIOCANAL will also release of a brand-new boxset of six key films by Jean-Pierre Melville, in celebration of
his centenary. Featuring several brand new 4k restorations as well as exclusive new extras, MELVILLE, THE
ESSENTIAL COLLECTION will include Le Doulos, Bob Le Flambeur, Léon Morin, Prêtre, L'Armée Des Ombres
and Le Cercle Rouge and will be available to own on DVD and Blu-Ray for the first time on September 12.
I'm guessing it will be region locked.

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