Alain Delon

Alain Delon

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66th Cannes Film Festival

Alain Delon - Celebrities out and about during the 66th Cannes Film Festival - Day 12 - Cannes, France - Sunday 26th May 2013

Alain Delon
Alain Delon
Alain Delon

Zulu Premiere

Alain Delon and Marine Lorphelin - 66th Cannes Film Festival - 'Zulu' - Premiere - Cannes, France - Sunday 26th May 2013

Alain Delon and Marine Lorphelin
Alain Delon and Marine Lorphelin
Alain Delon and Marine Lorphelin
Alain Delon and Marine Lorphelin

66th Cannes Film Festival

Alain Delon - 66th Cannes Film Festival - 'Only Lovers Left Alive' - Premiere - Cannes, France - Saturday 25th May 2013

Alain Delon
Alain Delon
Alain Delon
Alain Delon

Diabolically Yours Review


Good
The definitive highlight of Lions Gate's Alain Delon five-film box set, Diabolically Yours offers a captivating, early example of the psychological thriller. It's a direct ancestor of just about every puzzler that involves mistaken identy or amnesia, from Memento to Suture to Shattered.

The gist this time involves Georges Campo (Delon) wrecking his sports car, then coming to in a hospital with no idea who he is. When his supposed wife Christiane (continental hottie Senta Berger) takes him to his supposed mansion for his recovery, Georges suddenly loses his motivation of self-discovery, happy instead to convalesce in luxury.

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L'Eclisse Review


Good
It's impossible not to sound like a snob when writing about Antonioni's movies -- hell, the guy's name is "Michelangelo" -- but writing about the spare L'Eclisse is the worst job of all.

Antonioni's films rarely vary from a tight thematic script that ranges from melancholy to loneliness to despair. In L'Eclisse, he focuses that beam on Monica Vitti, an almost stereotypically detached Italian woman whose engagement falls apart in the opening scenes of the film -- though it's virtually without dialogue for 15 minutes. Eventually Vitti's Vittoria hooks up with Piero (Alain Delon), and the remainder of the film concerns their relationship -- as it were, anyway.

Continue reading: L'Eclisse Review

Le Samouraï Review


Essential
When I was a little child with red cheeks and a head of curls, I wanted to grow up to be a hitman. Fireman? You couldn't pay me enough and I seriously could never grow a mustache that big. Doctor? I can find plenty of work not involving holding a man's genitals and asking him to cough, please. Nope, give me that mystery and the danger of the stone-faced hitman, where the only real needs of the job are not getting caught, handle a gun and kill the mark. One wonders if Jeff Costello had any dreams of becoming anything else besides a hitman dressed like Humphrey Bogart.

Jeff (Alain Delon) is the main character in Jean-Pierre Melville's Le Samouraï, a nuanced, surprising crime film from the days of the French New Wave. The film takes a minimalist look at a hitman's doomed existence, following Jeff through a hit and the unexpected outcomes of that action. He is picked up and questioned by an uncompromising police inspector (Francois Périer) and is let go after exasperating tests and questioning. The only witness to his crime is the piano player, Valerie (Caty Rosier), who denies seeing him at the club at all. Jeff doesn't squeal, but his employer sets a price on his head which is almost carried out, but not to full expectations. He offers Jeff another hit worth $2 million. Carrying out this hit ignites a strange but enthralling chase scene and ultimately leads him to his doom.

Continue reading: Le Samouraï Review

The Leopard Review


Extraordinary
1963's The Leopard, directed by the Italian Count Luchino Visconti and based on the best-selling novel by countryman Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, tells the story of an Old World aristocrat - the Sicilian Fabrizio Corbera, Prince of Salina - as he faces the changes forced upon his embattled social class by the Italian Risorgimento of 1860, a revolutionary social movement (and armed conflict) that brought about the end of that country's feudal monarchies and united its states into what now is the country of Italy. The vision of both the novel and the film is epic, and the politics of the thing are intricate enough that even a native Italian likely found it a challenge in 1963, and would likely find it even more so today. The politics are also central to the film, and this undoubtedly contributed to its uneasy stateside reception in '63 and its virtual unavailability on video until now.

My hope is that Criterion's marvelous new three-DVD edition will change that. Unlike many special editions, there's no superfluous material here: The set includes the original, 187-minute Italian version of The Leopard, the U.S. theatrical release (because Burt Lancaster starred, 20th Century Fox had American rights to the film; not knowing what to do with it, they trimmed 16 minutes, dubbed it into English, and distorted - in the interests of "accessibility" - Giuseppe Rotunno's gorgeous widescreen cinematography), enlightening commentary by film historian Peter Cowie, and video essays that provide important historical context for the action alongside new interviews with surviving cast and crew members.

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Any Number Can Win Review


Extraordinary
Henri Verneuil must have really loved Kubrick's The Killing, and this contemporary caper apes it amicably while adding its own unique (and French) spin. Alain Delon and Jean Gabin join forces to rob a Cannes casino, but after 80 minutes of meticulous planning and clockwork execution, the little issue of how to abscond with the loot rears its head. Great dialogue and a taut, deftly-plotted story make this a classic that, oddly, few seem to have seen.

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Le Cercle Rouge Review


Extraordinary
Movies about heists are gimmick-driven things, which is why so few are worth remembering. They live and breathe on some corny and forced plot twist at the end -- "The crook is really a cop!" "The cop is really a crook!" -- because the rest of the movie is usually obvious and boilerplate. There are standard-issue shots of men in masks breaking into the bank/mansion/store, led by some crusty old expert who's famous for his heists, though not so famous that the cops have caught on, but he's having second thoughts about being in the business, and so on. You don't even have to see The Score to know how it goes, and Heist is David Mamet's dullest film - so dull it didn't even try to come up with an interesting title.

So, fair warning: Jean-Pierre Melville's 1970 Le Cercle Rouge (in re-release by Rialto Pictures with a blessing by John Woo) is just a heist film. It has all the familiar elements detailed above. Why, then, is it a masterpiece?

Continue reading: Le Cercle Rouge Review

Spirits Of The Dead Review


Good
A rare '60s oddity, Spirits of the Dead takes a weird premise and makes it even weirder. How weird? Try classic Edgar Allen Poe stories given a 1960s spin -- one that lambasts the whole free love/no morals movement the way that only the Frenchies could do. And stars some of the biggest stars of the era -- Fonda! Bardot! Delon! -- and is told in three short pieces, courtesy of three big-time directors -- Fellini! Malle! Vadim!

Roger Vadim takes his Barbarella star Jane Fonda through a very loose interpretation of "Metzengerstein," with Fonda as an aristocrat bored of the constant orgies and swift executions of her enemies. She ends up falling for her cousin, but when he rejects her, she burns down his stable, taking him along with it. Strangely, the cousin ends up possessing the spirit of a horse, which the countess ends up fascinated with anew. It's the weakest of the three shorts, but it's worth seeing if for no other reason than to see Barbarella trot out her French. (To be honest, that might be the only reason -- the story just doesn't make much of an impact.)

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Purple Noon Review


Good
Thirty-six years after its release, Purple Noon is back as part of Martin Scorsese's revival of underseen foreign classics.

This time out it's Rene Clement's mystery-drama (based on the book The Talented Mr. Ripley) about wealthy jerk Phillippe, his adoring (but poor) best friend Tom (Alain Delon), and the redhead (Marge) they both adore (Marie Laforet). Caught up in the greed and envy that comes along with wealth like Phillippe's, Tom hatches a plot to rid the world of Phillippe and take over his life. Fine, well, the only suprising thing about this is how quickly he succeeds at the plan (after about 30 minutes) -- at which point, the movie becomes one of Tom hatching part 2 of the plan... and the movie starts to get interesting.

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Swann In Love Review


OK
It wasn't until 1984 that someone tried to make a movie out of a Marcel Proust novel, and for good reason: Proust isn't exactly known for brevity, simplicity, or reader friendliness.

So leave it to Volker Schlöndorff (The Tin Drum) to adapt Swann in Love, a continuation of part one (Swann's Way) of Marcel Proust's Remembrance of Things Past, series of seven volumes that span some 3,000 pages. (I'm hardly a Proust expert, so if I've got the exact ID of the original text wrong, forgive me.)

Continue reading: Swann In Love Review

Alain Delon

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