Monday, August 4, 2014

Movie of the Week – Le Cercle Rouge

This week’s movie: Le Cercle Rouge (1970)

Corey is an aristocratic thief who is released from prison with a plan in hand to pull off the biggest jewel heist of his career. Meanwhile, a murder named Vogel escapes police custody and is on the run. He crosses paths with Corey and the two become friends. Corey decides to bring him in on the heist. They recruit a third man: Jansen, a former police sharpshooter who has fallen on hard times. Corey also robbed his former mob boss, Rico, as soon as he was released from prison because he believes he is owed composition for taking the rap for the gang during a prior job. Now, Rico is looking for revenge, even working with the cops to get Corey. And on top of everything, their targeted jewel shop has the most advanced security system in Paris. Can they pull off the theist against these odds?

Le Cercle Rouge is written and directed by French auteur Jean-Pierre Melville, who also made the brilliant and stylish films Le Samurai and Army of Shadows. He works with composer Eric Demarsan, cinematographer Henri Decae, and production designer Theobald Meurisse.

With Le Samurai and actor Alain Delon, Melville created the epitome of cool. The team achieves this again with Le Cercle Rouge. The film is incredibly stylish and just sparkles with ‘cool’, paving the way for modern heist films featuring smooth operators like The Sting, Heat, and Ocean’s Eleven, while taking its inspiration for Rififi. Melville also does something very interesting with the genre, playing into his own style – the film is almost a silent film as there is almost no dialog in a genre often defined by fast, witty repartee. Like Le Samurai and Army of Shadows, Melville creates a cold, sparse world. It is a must-see for fans of heist films as it is one of the best (and usually forgotten). On a side note, the heist takes place in one of my favorite parts of Paris, Place Vendome, a square that always wows me with its style, opulence and yet simplicity.

Trailer: Here
Available on: Blu-ray

No comments:

Post a Comment