A Man Escaped (1956) Imprisoned French Resistance Fighter Seeks Liberation

A Man Escaped (1956) Robert Bresson film prison POW french resistence movie poster

Caught. Wedged on the back seat of a speeding car. Three men. Two handcuffed, one not. Maybe not enough cuffs to go around? He’s by the door. The door handle beacons. Should he make a run for it? He’s likely to be killed anyway, whatever he does. He’d chance it, go for it. No! the car is travelling too fast. At the traffic lights he’d make a break for freedom. The car speeds through. His hand taps the door handle. A tram is coming. Now’s his chance! Continue reading “A Man Escaped (1956) Imprisoned French Resistance Fighter Seeks Liberation”

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Black Moon (1975) Science Fiction Fantasy French Fruit Loop Mind Wibble Wobble

black moon (1975) louis malle poster amazzing artwork eagle

Is this science fiction? It certainly starts that way! Kind of post-apocalyptic. Maybe not following a nuclear war but some other world-wide disaster has probably happened. I got a sense and feeling of Alfonso Cuarón’s 2006 sci-fi thriller Children Of Men to start with. The bleak and the gloom, the underlying air of sadness. Yes that was soon to change and oh, how we all laughed that I could have thought such a thing! Hehe. But first…… Continue reading “Black Moon (1975) Science Fiction Fantasy French Fruit Loop Mind Wibble Wobble”

Je t’aime, Je t’aime (1968) French Surrealism Experimental Time Travel

Je t'aime, Je t'aime (1968) French time travel film Alain Resnais poster artwork

The French do mind trippy fantastic science fiction surrealism in film with ease. Just check 1965’s Neo Noir sci-fi Alphaville and snappy 1962 time travel short film La Jetee. Amazingly creative, thoughtful science fiction. Here’s another sixties onslaught attack on your precious grey matter cells. From director Alain Resnais and his 1968 film Je t’aime, Je t’aime (I Love You, I Love You). Continue reading “Je t’aime, Je t’aime (1968) French Surrealism Experimental Time Travel”

Pickpocket (1959) The Journey Of A Light Fingered Frenchman

Pickpocket (1959) designer Christian Broutin poster artwork film Bresson

It was the poster art by designer Christian Broutin that sparked my attention with this French film. The beautiful simplistic artwork is so striking. The black silhouette of our shifty looking lead centered on a blue backdrop with what I first thought were white doves around him. With a second look those doves revealed themselves as white gloves portraying this young man’s light fingered skills. For Michel (Martin LaSalle) is a pickpocket and he’s ready to palm off wallets, watches and handbags when the chance arises. Continue reading “Pickpocket (1959) The Journey Of A Light Fingered Frenchman”

Le Doulos (1963) Snitches Stitches Safe-crackers and Sombreros!

Le Doulos (1963) movie poster hat informer noir french new wave

Well maybe not Sombreros but I couldn’t think of a hat that began with S other than a Stetson and Sombreros are way more sillier. Especially if you can imagine they all did wear sombreros, it would really cut through the fog thick tension in this excellent thriller. Le Doulos is a rough old time French translation for “hat” and the hat of choice for these Parisian gangsters is the Fedora. Another translation for this is also “informer” and maybe that snitch also wears a hat! And considering most these gangsters wear a hat, who could be the finger man, the informer?

Le Doulos (1963) Jean-Pierre Melville noir french opening credit title screen shot Continue reading “Le Doulos (1963) Snitches Stitches Safe-crackers and Sombreros!”

Alphaville (1965) Silence Logic Security Prudence in French New Wave Sci-Fi

 


Alphaville (1965) movie poster dvd bluray cover artwork

Gruff and super moody journalist Ivan Johnson (Eddie Constantine) arrives at Alphaville following his journey through the Galaxies. He’s there with his camera to report back to the Figaro-Pravda, his newspaper, the strange goings on in this futuristic city. Ivan Johnson isn’t who he pretends to be, he is in fact an American private-eye come secret agent called Lemmy Caution.

Lemmy Caution –“Fuck yourself with your logic.”

Alphaville (1965) Lemmy Caution Eddie Constantine cigarette light smokeAlphaville (1965) lemmy caution camera flash man

Lemmy Caution is a nonsense kind of guy who has absolute complete contempt for bellboys asking for tips and no time to relax with the pleasures of the Seductress Third Class lady drones, however insanely beautiful they maybe! But he’s happy to pull his gun out at any other moment. Maybe a poster of naked girl that he feels might need some extra nipples or if you’re too lazy to flick your zippo, then Lemmy’s your guy, he maybe old but he’s still a quick firing crack shot and can light that with a single bullet shot.

Alphaville (1965) sexy girl jukebox bra

Tagline – Suddenly the word is Alphaville… and a secret agent is in a breathless race against the Masters of the Future.

He arrived at Alphaville on a mission from the Outlands of Nueva York to track down missing agent Henry Dickson (Akim Tamiroff) and to repatriate Professor von Braun (Howard Vernon). To do this means investigating the city, luckily he meets the Professor’s daughter Natacha von Braun (Anna Karina) who just happens to be one of the most breathtaking ladies in this dystopian future world and let it be known, every lady in this city is bonkers beautiful.

Natacha Von Braun – “Got a light?”
Lemmy Caution – “I’ve traveled 9,000 kilometers to give it to you.”

Alphaville (1965) Anna Karina in room bed beautifulAlphaville (1965) Lemmy Caution Eddie Constantine Natacha von Braun Anna Karina

The problem with getting around this city is that you are watched over 24/7 by an artificial intelligence tyrannical ruler going by the name of Alpha 60. Imagine a Siri or Alexa unit speaking to you after a non-stop week long bender of booze, cigars and cigarettes by the box load and you might get a picture of this booming gravelly hoarse throaty loud voice commanding everything from the airways.

Alpha 60 – “The acts of men carried over from past centuries will gradually destroy them logically. I, Alpha 60, am merely the logical means of this destruction.”

Alphaville (1965) Lemmy Caution Eddie Constantine intergatationAlphaville (1965) scientists computer alpha 60 2

Alpha 60 has made this world inhuman, removed emotional thoughts and feelings, words like love, conscience and poetry and other passionate human freewill affections from the human mind.  Anyone resisting these ways will be rounded up and executed.

Alpha 60 – Time is like a circle which is endlessly described. The declining arc is the past. The inclining arc is the future.

Alphaville (1965) Lemmy Caution Eddie Constantine lift

Can Lemmy complete his mission plans and get out of this future city devoid of emotion and travel back to The Outlands? Can he do better than his counterpart detective Dick Tracy? And more importantly can he get the girl?

Lemmy Caution –Dick Tracy, is he dead?”

Alphaville (1965) black white negative

From the opening arrival at the hotel you know you are in for a fantastical ride. Director and writer Jean-Luc Godard brings together a half serious, half satire, futurist trip through 60’s Paris. Godard’s film brings with it a fully functioning keyword generator of genre category labels like French New Wave, Avant Garde, Neo Noir, Social Satire and Surrealism, yep it really hits every single one. You either going to think this film is a work of total genius or pretentious load of gobbledygook. I thought it was ridiculously fantastic and loved every single second of it.

Alphaville (1965) paris lights street city

One surprising factoid

If you imagine Lemmy Caution is a Sam Spade, Mike Hammer private detective kind of noir guy you will know his character. What I didn’t know was Eddie Constantine is an American actor who moved to France and starred in a whole series of Lemmy Caution B-Movies way before Jean-Luc Godard gave us his crazy take on the character. He played Lemmy at least 10 times and even paired up with Godard one last time in 1991 for the film called Germany Year 90 Nine Zero. I had absolutely no idea of any of this until just now!

Alphaville (1965) Anna Karina black white

Anyhow I’m sure there’s some deep psychological studies and essays out there in blog land which will be worth reading to explain things but everybody will get different feelings and thoughts about the film and that’s what makes cinema such an important medium. Have fun on your journey through the galaxies.

Wolfie

Alphaville (1965) movie poster dvd bluray cover artwork 2

La Jetée (1962) Twelve Monkeys Future Past

La Jetée (1962) dvd cover

1995’s Twelve Monkeys is up there in my top 10 science fiction films of all time, somewhere near the very top. Everything about Terry Gilliam’s vision and David Webb’s screenplay is absolute perfection. I knew that it was inspired by a short sci-fi story called La Jetée (The Jetty) by an experimental filmmaker and photographer called Chris Marker but I hadn’t seen it until now! Continue reading “La Jetée (1962) Twelve Monkeys Future Past”

Le Samouraï (1967) – Hitman, Jazz and Sexy Ladies

Le Samouraï (1967) poster gun

What can you say when you read it could be one of the most influential films to a monster amount of classic directors from the likes of Tarantino, Coppola, Jim Jarmusch, Coen Brothers, Scorsese, Nicolas Winding Refn to name but a few, and you realise you didn’t even know it existed. So after a punishing few hour session of flaying myself whilst slowly headbutting the wall to teach myself a well earned lesson I can now say I have seen it, and by god man, it’s a goody. Continue reading “Le Samouraï (1967) – Hitman, Jazz and Sexy Ladies”

Themroc (1973) Crazier Than A Bag Of Jellied Eels

themroc-poster

Billed as a comedy and to be honest it is but you get incest and cannibalism to boot! Crazier than a bag of jellied eels Themroc is a first class nut job. This film is definitely not to all tastes but if you want an anarchic journey into a man’s brain in pure melt down mode then this is the film to watch. Continue reading “Themroc (1973) Crazier Than A Bag Of Jellied Eels”