Bertrand Tavernier relocates Jim Thompson’s 1964 Texas-set pulp novel Pop. 1280 to a sunbaked, dirt-caked Senegalese village, where it follows its inept police chief-turned-heartless killer and his scrappy mistress.
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Transposing Jim Thompson's novel to a wholly different culture was a master stroke by director Bertrand Tavernier, who explores the colonialist mindset and its delusional god complex and warped sense of justice through its main character's philosophy, sexuality, and dark humour.
I feel betrayed no one ever told me "you have to see this marvelous film!" Transplanting someone like Jim Thompson to a different culture is a stroke of brilliance especially watching it in the world we live in NOW.
Head character how he deals his problems how he defines himself to other people how he defines his area what's going on in there he is very confusing and he makes this movie unforgettable perfect anti-hero cinema
The same feeling as watching Altman's The Long Goodbye. The same feeling as watching Melville's Le Doulos. The same feeling as watching Becker's Touchez pas au Grisbi. You are watching something as fucking cool as it gets! Damn, this was great, loved it!
In my opinion, COUP DE TORCHON is Bertrand Tavernier's masterpiece. Without the dogmatism of some of his films, without the too evident exposure of left-wing ideas found in his first movies, COUP DE TORCHON manages to carry Tavernier's personal ideas thanks to a bulletproof screenplay co-written with Jean Aurenche (Forbidden Games). If you like black humor, this is definitely a film for you. Indispensable.
Inspired altered-setting adaptation of Jim Thompson's pulp fiction classic, even if it does slightly soften the tone of Thompson's novel to play up the humor and philosophical reflection. Superb performances, particularly Philippe Noiret's great understated work in the lead, and a young scene-stealing Isabelle Huppert. An excellent, razor-sharp dark comedy. Amazing score by Philippe Sarde.