FILM NOIR THE FRENCH STYLE. “THE DELON TRILOGY” BY JEAN-PIERRE MELVILLE
Jean-Pierre Melville was a distinguished French film-maker, brilliant director of several masterpieces. He is best known for his fascination for American culture and cinema, especially classic Hollywood movies dealing with crime. Among his best works are iconic masterpieces of French film noir: Le Samouraï (1967), Le Cercle rouge (1970) and Un flic (1972), called “The Delon Trilogy” because of their star – Alain Delon. These three films not only combined talents of Melville and Delon and helped to establish actor’s star persona, but also provided best exemplification of all of their author’s fascinations and obsessions, that are also the most important noir themes. These are: tragic, mithologized and glorified masculinity, loyalty and treason, trust and betrayal, fatal fate, male friendship, solitude and world’s indifference for human suffering. Melville’s stories of lonely heroes dressed in fedora hats and trench coats, living and operating in a labyrinth of a big city, are told in a minimalistic style, bleak and austere, that includes both his trademark – ascetic mise-en-scène – and quotations from american film noirs always treated in a highly original way. Melville also inspired many salient directors dealing with neo-noir, among whom are Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Coen brothers, John Woo, Luc Besson, Walter Hill, Michael Mann.