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Melville: Essays in Existentalism

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.