Impeccable piece of cinema both in terms of content (the 'nobility' of crime) and style (the essentially 'mute' proceedings and the formalism of shots), that deploys an altogether 'zen' approach to storytelling: minimalist and holistic, the latter ingeniously transferred into entire set-pieces where movement, natural sounds, body language and props compose a transcendent universe of doom. An astounding film!
"All men are evil." What I loved about this was the complex build-up to the heist. All the different coincidental meetings and corresponding events really made this more than a brilliant heist film (which it was!) I love that Melville made up an epitaph/quote for this film (just like he did with Le samouraï), which is supposed to be the crux of the story. It just cracks me up.
Melville throws pace out the window as he slowly unfolds his heist thriller inch-by-inch. Still the character development is spot on. (A Melville strength in his films). There is a LOT of silence and scenes that stretch on with no dialogue for long periods of time. But all the while, Melville is letting the characters' actions show you the way. It's a unique brand of filmmaking that takes some getting use to.
Saying that Melville has a fetish for cops and robbers would be really undermining his talent to choreograph a proper dance of crime and misdemeanors. Le Cercle Rouge is a film dripping is style and works entirely on Melville's talent to get your accustomed to his pacing.
Moody, patiently paced, even relaxing at times. A brilliant film that really captured the feeling of a patient hunter and the crafty prey. Even though it had a slower feel to it, I never got bored. The camera work was very engaging and all of the shots were well thought out. Probably my favorite aspect were all of the settings, especially some of the exorbitant homes with their crackling fireplaces.
A good caper film. The only negative is the ridiculous DT scene with the scary iguanas and chameleons crawling on the ex-cop's bed. Make sure you watch that scene with the lights on! The highlight of the movie is the heist scene. It spans a full 27 minutes, has no dialog, no background music, and scant sound effects. Few filmmakers would attempt such a thing, let alone be able to pull it off.
A real deal perfect crime film. There is a sense of quiet desperation or "dangerous serenity" in the midst of everything experienced by the main characters. Great way to get into Melville's contemplative cinema. "All men are guilty. They're born innocent, but it doesn't last. And don't forget: All guilty." The cinematography has a breath of Delvaux night paintings.
Indeed excellent and measured dialogue that maintains tension, and the distended back robbery scene is quite solid; however, somewhat implausible that thieves who plan out a robbery so precisely would allow a way for the night guard to ring the alarm. Passable film. Solid moments. But the glut of 5 star ratings are off base. 2 1/2 stars at best.
Melville's style is sparse, but precise. The economy of each shot and cut is remarkable for a film that maintains intrigue at over two hours with no more dialogue than needed. Some parts of the plot have to be inferred, but this is a masterful genre parable, inventing a Buddhist idiom and playing with moral codes. All you fans of the strong-and-silent Michael Mann school of action cinema, it comes from a Frenchman.
Cette avant-dernière oeuvre, tournée à "l'américaine" nous maintient en haleine continuellement et comporte un excellent moment de bravoure : la scène du cambriolage. L'ambition de Melville n'est pas de nous faire croire à son histoire, mais de nous la conter avec talent. Il y réussit parfaitement... www.cinefiches.com