Saturday, September 07, 2013

Jean-Pierre Melville: L'armée des ombres / Army of Shadows

Jean-Pierre Melville's L'armée des ombres / Army of Shadows. Here's a 1969 film set during wartime (that which we call the Second World War) not released in the USA until 2006. Why? It's excellent, but grim. Gangsters are one thing, but a bleak recounting of the French Resistance is another. Sure, there are cat-and-mouse games, infiltration, betrayals, torture and killings in cops-and-robbers films, but now we have to think about such things among the common citizenry, too? Movies are about escapism, aren't they? Not this one! A harrowing, existentialist film, in which members of the underground are reminded to keep a cyanide tablet on their person at all times. Better suicide than falling into the hands of occupying myrmidons. And don't you know it.
Today's Rune: The Mystery Rune. 

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