Saturday, October 24, 2009

Bob le Flambeur

This 1956 French crime drama by Jean-Pierre Melville was his big breakthrough. It tells the story of Bob, a sort of elder statesman of the Paris crime world. Everyone likes him, even the police, but he's begun to live a pretty boring life as a expert for the police. Problem is, this means fellow criminals don't trust him and the police are always watching. His itch for adventure leads him to a plan to rob a casino. All he needs now is a plan and a team. It's classic. It may not have been the first of it's kind, but it unified a distinct style approach that influenced pretty much all movies of it's kind to follow. This and Kubrick's The Killing are basically the parents of every heist movie to follow. They may not know it now, but movies like Ocean's 11 and the Bond movies are direct descendants. Now, that doesn't mean that your liking those movies means you will like this one. Whether or not you like Bob depends on how you approach it. The acting is pretty poor and the story is really not that great. Melville also loves to keep a pretty darn slow pace. What makes it worth a watch is the style. His visuals and approach are just classic. If you like the heist genre, it's worth your time, like a blues guitarist listening to early blues recordings. Know what I mean? Seeing where what you love comes from.

Saturday Afternoon.

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