*** MONDAY October 15th, 2018 *** Le Cercle Rouge *** DIRECTED BY Jean-Pierre Melville, STARRING Alain Delon, Yves Montand. Bourvil and Gian Maria Volontè

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What do we get when we put Alain Delon, Yves Montand, Gian Maria Volonte and Bourvil in a film directed by Jean-Pierre Melville ?

We get them silently gliding down streets of a wet Paris winter…

Some are cops and some are robbers…

they wear trench coats and fedoras…

to smoke for them is as natural as breathing…

they use guns, lies, clout, greed and nerve with the skill of a magician who no longer even thinks about the cards…

they share a code of honor which is not about what side of the law they are on, but about how a man must behave to win the respect of those few others who understand the code…

The film’s title means “The Red Circle” and refers to the film’s epigraph which translates as ->>>>>>Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, drew a circle with a piece of red chalk and said: “When men, even unknowingly, are to meet one day, whatever may befall each, whatever the diverging paths, on the said day, they will inevitably come together in the red circle.”

Melville made up the quote…

 

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*** MONDAY October 8th, 2018 *** Army of Shadows *** DIRECTED BY Jean-Pierre Melville, STARRING Lino Ventura, Paul Meurisse and Jean-Pierre Cassel

ARMY OF SHADOWS Film Poster

WARNING : This is not a war film…

“Jean-Pierre Melville, perhaps the least known French film director of his generation  is steadily moving into the ranks of the greatest directors… He was not much honored in his lifetime. We now know from his gangster film “Bob le Flambeur” (1955) that he was an early father of the New Wave — before Jean-Luc Godard, Francois Truffaut and Louis Malle…
He used actual locations, dolly shots with a camera mounted on a bicycle, unknown actors and unrehearsed street scenes…
In “Le Samourai” (1967), at a time when movie hit men were larger than life, he reduced the existence of a professional assassin (Alain Delon) to ritual, solitude, simplicity and understatement.
And in “Le Cercle Rouge” (1970), he showed police and gangsters who know how a man must win the respect of those few others who understand the code.
His films, with their precision of image and movement, are startlingly beautiful…
With “Army of shadows”we have the Cinematiki premiere of perhaps his greatest film…”  

“Melville, who was himself a member of the Resistance, is not interested in making an action film. Action releases tension and makes it external. His film is about the war within the minds of Resistance members, who must live with constant fear, persist in the face of futility, accept the deaths of their comrades and expect no reward, except the knowledge that they are doing the right thing. Because many die under false names, their sacrifices are never known.” – Roger Ebert

Jean-Pierre Melville’s 1969 French Resistance Masterpiece is “The Best Film og 2006!” – New York Times

 

 

*** MONDAY October 1st, 2018 *** Le Samouraï *** DIRECTED BY Jean-Pierre Melville, STARRING Alain Delon, François Périer and Nathalie Delon

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Melville creates a world that rewards you looking at the details.

“An elegantly stylized masterpiece of cool by maverick director Jean-Pierre-Melville, Le Samouraï is a razor sharp cocktail of 1940 American Gangster Cinema and 1960 French pop culture – with a liberal dose of Japanese lone-warrior mythology.”

                                                                                              – Criterion Collection

 

*** MONDAY SEPTEMBER 24, 2018 *** YOYO *** DIRECTED BY Pierre Étaix, STARRING Pierre Étaix, Claudine Auger and Martine de Breteuil

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Yo Yo is a 1965 French comedy film by Pierre Étaix. The story follows the son of a millionaire from the 1920s to the 1960s. After losing his fortune in the stock-exchange crash, he teams up with an equestrienne and becomes a circus clown.

This elaborately conceived and brilliantly mounted comedy is Pierre Etaix’s most beloved movie, as well as his personal favorite. Beginning as a clever homage to silent film, complete with intertitles, Yoyo blossoms into a poignant family saga (in which Etaix plays both a father and his grown son) and a celebration of the circus Etaix adored. Chock-full of nimble sight gags and ingenious sound effects, Yoyo is very sweet, a little bit melancholy, and wholly imaginative.

Pierre Étaix co-directed one of Jacques Tati’s great hits, “Mon Oncle” and many folks think his style is very close to Tati’s–which it is.

MONDAY SEPTEMBER 17, 2018 **** PLAYTIME *** DIRECTED BY JACQUES TATI, STARRING Barbara Dennek, Rita Maiden AND Jacques Tati

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We’ve seen “My Uncle” (1958) and “Mr. Hulot’s Holiday” (1953). Looking forward to “Play Time”(1967), the celebrated Jacques Tati directs and stars in this brilliantly eccentric ode to humanity. Tati plays Monsieur Hulot, a Parisian who’s befuddled by the changes he witnesses in his beloved city, which has grown increasingly touristy. As Hulot roams the uncomfortably modern Paris with a group of American tourists, his story epitomizes the struggle of modern man to maintain a soul in the face of an impersonal world.

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MONDAY ** September 10th ** Evening with Production Designer Dennis Gassner

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MONDAY SEPTEMBER 10th, 2018 **** Evening with Production Designer Dennis Gassner *** Highlights from most recent, and past works.

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Join us for a very special evening with

Dennis Gassner

Monday September 10th 6:45pm (Pot luck 5:45pm)

We will look at highlights of this distinguished production designer’s oeuvre.
We will see clips from his most recent film Blade Runner 2049, and then look back at his remarkable earlier work including:

Miller’s Crossing

Road to Perdition

The Truman Show

Big Fish

Barton Fink

The Golden Compass

Field of Dreams

Waterworld

and last three James Bond Films

Quantum of Solace

Skyfall

Spectre

MONDAY SEPTEMBER 3rd, 2018 **** The Thin Man *** DIRECTED BY W.S. Van Dyke, STARRING William Powell, Myrna Loy and Maureen O’Sullivan

Thin Man

William Powell is to dialogue as Fred Astaire is to dance. His delivery is so droll and insinuating, so knowing and innocent at the same time, that it hardly matters what he’s saying. That’s certainly the case in “The Thin Man” (1934), a murder mystery in which the murder and the mystery are insignificant compared to the personal styles of the actors. Powell and Myrna Loy co-star as Nick and Nora Charles, a retired detective and his rich wife, playfully in love

“The Thin Man” was one of the most popular films of 1934, inspired five sequels, and was nominated for four Oscars (best picture, actor, direction and screenplay). Yet it was made as an inexpensive B-picture. Powell and Loy had been successful together earlier the same year in “Manhattan Melodrama” (the last film John Dillinger ever saw), and were quickly cast by MGM in this crime comedy that was filmed, incredibly, in only two weeks.

Dennis Gassner picks this film as one of his favorites.

 

MONDAY AUGUST 27TH, 2018 **** The Great Gatsby *** DIRECTED BY Jack Clayton, STARRING Robert Redford, Mia Farrow,* and Bruce Dern

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1974

Robert Redford stars as a self made millionaire, Jake Gatsby, who uses his fortune to buy his way into the Long Island Society. 

Screenplay by Francis Ford Coppola

Directed by Jack Clayton

The film is FAITHFUL to the letter of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel.

 

 

MONDAY AUGUST 20TH, 2018 **** BLOW-UP *** DIRECTED BY MICHELANGELO ANTONIONI, STARRING David Hemmings, Vanessa Redgrave AND Sarah Miles

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A seminal film of the 60’s, ( 4 Stars, Roger Ebert ) A film that influenced a young Tom Sewell in 1966.

Thomas (David Hemmings) is a London photographer who spends his time photographing fashion models. But one day he thinks he may have photographed something far more sinister: a murder.