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American Cinematheque at the Aero Theatre Presents...
Movies on the Big Screen Since 1940!
1328 Montana Avenue at 14th Street in Santa Monica


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Click to print Page 1 or Page 2 or Full Text of a Nov. Calendar!
Compiled by: Gwen Deglise.

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The American Cinematheque is a non-profit 501 (C) (3) organization.
The Film Programs of the American Cinematheque are presented at the newly re-opened and renovated Aero Theatre at 1328 Montana Avenue in Santa Monica and at the magnificently renovated, historic 1922 Grauman's Hollywood Egyptian Theatre. Located at 6712 Hollywood Boulevard.
Photo Credit: Barry Gerber. Aero Theatre (c) 2004.

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<< November 1 - 4, 2007 >>>

French Crime Films

 


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http://www.myspace.com/americancinematheque

 

This series is an Aero Theatre Exclusive!

 

Presented in association with Ile de France Film Commission, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, France and the French Film and TV office of the French Consulate.

With the sponsorship of Agnès B.

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Since our tribute to French noir maestro, Jean-Pierre Melville in 1996, Melville-mania has swept the US (with the re-release of, most recently, LE DOULOS). But Melville was not alone in re-inventing the crime film in French terms – directors Jacques Deray (BORSALINO), Alain Corneau, Georges Lautner (CROOKS IN CLOVER), Rene Clement, Claude Sautet, to name only a few, filtered their love of American gangster and noir movies through the rugged beauty of actors Alain Delon and Lino Ventura and the feline grace of actresses Romy Schneider and Mirielle Darc. Another influence was the Serie Noire novels by Americans Jim Thompson, David Goodis and others – that, and the French crime fiction of Jose Giovanni, Sebastien Japrisot, et. al. Like the American West Coast jazz scene of the 1950s, the French crime film was the very definition of "cool" – a quicksilver world of silent killers and speeding Citroens. Join us for three days with the French masters, including hard-to-see gems like Melville’s SECOND BREATH, Deray’s THE SWIMMING POOL and more!

 

 

 

Thursday November 1 – 7:30 PM

Jean-Pierre Melville Double Feature:

A lover of all things "American" (guns, flashy cars, THE ASPHALT JUNGLE), Jean- Pierre Melville (1917 – 1973) was one of film’s true iconoclasts: a Frenchman who rejected most of French cinema, an outsider who built his own studio (and watched it burn to the ground), a consummate romantic who believed only in betrayal. The silver-haired gambler in BOB LE FLAMBEUR, the solitary assassin in LE SAMOURAÏ – these characters are quintessentially "Melvillian" (he probably coined the term himself, and used it often): beautiful loners willing to die for a gesture, "to preserve a sort of purity."

SECOND BREATH (LE DEUXIEME SOUFFLE), 1966, Filmel, 150 min. Dir. Jean-Pierre Melville. A middle-aged hood (Lino Ventura) breaks out of jail and organizes a new gang, determined to prove he still has what it takes. Melville’s brutal, crackling noir contrasts Ventura’s "old world craftsmanship" against the younger generation of Nouvelle Vague crooks. A twisting-turning maze of existential pitfalls opens up before Ventura’s character – some placed by the police, some by his cronies, some by his woman and some even by himself – will it be possible for him to circumvent them all? Based on the novel by Jose Giovanni. Director Alain Corneau just completed production on a remake with Daniel Auteil. With Paul Meurisse, Raymond Pellegrin. In French, with English subtitles. "Melville did for the crime film what Leone did for the western." – Quentin Tarantino; "Established Melville’s reputation as a brilliant refurbisher of the immemorial imagery of the genre – gleaming night streets, gunmen prowling in deserted stairways." – Tom Milne. NOT ON DVD

Restored 35mm Print! BOB LE FLAMBEUR, 1955, Rialto Pictures, 97 min. One of the greatest crime films ever made and a landmark in French cinema is back in a beautiful restored 35mm print. Jean-Pierre Melville’s most renowned film is less a true noir than (in the director’s words) "a comedy of manners" -- a romantic meditation on Montmartre, faithless women, old pros, casinos waiting to be knocked over. The great Roger Duchesne stars as smooth-as-velvet crook Bob, planning to retire after one last, big score – if he can keep his hands off coquettish vixen Isabelle Corey and the even-more dangerous allure of the gambling tables. Suffused with an overwhelming sense of nostalgia, BOB was "a letter to a Paris which no longer existed." "What is friendship? It’s telephoning a friend at night to say, ‘Be a pal, get your gun and come over quickly’ – and hearing the reply, ‘O.K., be right there.’ " -- Jean-Pierre Melville

 

Friday, November 2 – 7:30 PM

Alain Delon/Jacques Deray Double Feature:

BORSALINO, 1970, Paramount, 125 min. Dir. Jacques Deray. In 1930’s Marseilles, fun-loving Jean-Paul Belmondo and ambitious Alain Delon meet, brawl over a girl, but soon become close comrades. Before long, they wrest control from the stuck-in-their-ways old gang bosses and begin organizing the wide-open city’s crime rackets. Based on Eugene Saccomano’s novel, The Bandits of Marseille, screenwriters Jean-Claude Carriere, Claude Sautet and director Deray all collaborated on the sharp script. The film was a huge hit in the U.S. as well as France upon its initial release and spurred an almost as popular sequel (without Belmondo), BORSALINO AND CO. With Mirielle Darc, Michel Bouquet, Corinne Marchand. Dubbed-in-English version. NOT ON DVD

THE SWIMMING POOL (LA PISCINE), 1969, SNC, 120 min. One of the best efforts and hardest-to-see (in America) from director Jacques Deray (BORSALINO; THE OUTSIDE MAN), with a trenchant script co-written by Buñuel colaborator, Jean-Claude Carriere. Writer Jean-Paul (Alain Delon) and journalist Marianne (Romy Schneider) are having an affair in St. Tropez when interrupted by a visit from Marianne’s former lover, Harry (Maurice Ronet). Harry has also brought along his fatally attractive daughter, Penelope (Jane Birkin). Hormones rage and sparks fly, and one of the four ends up dead, accidentally drowned after a fight. Now the three survivors must get their stories straight before the investigating police arrive. Top-notch psychological suspense. In French with English subtitles. NOT ON DVD

 

 

Sunday, November 4 – 7:30 PM

CROOKS IN CLOVER (aka LES TONTONS FLINGUEURS aka MONSIEUR GANGSTER), 1963, Gaumont, 105 min. Director Georges Lautner (ICY BREASTS) helmed this deliciously funny, but dark gangster spoof with Lino Ventura (SECOND BREATH) as a former mobster lured back into the business by a dying friend’s last request. Obligated to tie up some "loose ends" as well as look after the dead man’s soon-to-be-married daughter, Ventura abruptly finds himself running afoul of gangster hardcase, Bernard Blier. But Ventura is not to be trifled with, and responds in equal measure. Soon, a string of killings erupt and bodies pile up as the two men go at it. One of the classics. In French, with English subtitles. NOT ON DVD