Melville: Essays in Existentialism

Taking in a career that encompassed wartime dramas – Melville fought in the French army and then in the Resistance – and a Cocteau collaboration, Jean-Pierre Melville is one of the most admired figures in post-war French cinema.

Briefly a figurehead for the French New Wave before deciding to go his own way, Melville maintained an incredible independence by establishing his own studios. An admirer of American popular culture, he is perhaps best remembered f or the superlative, meticulously executed, existential crime dramas he produced in the 1960s. The season, in collaboration with BFI Southbank, will offer new restorations of many of the filmmaker’s finest works.

Previously in this season

Le Cercle Rouge

Jean-Pierre Melville's noir classic re released in a restored version.

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Le Doulos

A stone-faced Belmondo stars as enigmatic gangster Silien, who may or may not be responsible for squealing on recently released ex-con Faugel.

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Bob le flambeur

Suffused with wry humor, Bob le flambeur melds the toughness of American gangster films with Gallic sophistication to lay the road map for the French New…

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The Army of Shadows

Jean-Pierre Melville's classic, doom-laden WWII Resistance drama.

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Le Deuxieme Souffle

With his customary restraint and ruthless attention to detail, Melville follows the parallel tracks of French underworld criminal Gu - escaped from prison and roped…

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Un Flic

Melville’s final film stars Alain Delon as a police commissioner playing a game of cat and mouse with a gang of thieves after a bank…

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