As Cool As A Fruitstand

…and maybe as strange. A movie blog.

Le Cercle Rouge

Posted by Hedwig on September 8, 2008

Inspired by the guys over at filmspotting, and after my favorable experience with The Killing, I didn’t hesitate a second when, returning the latter, I saw the DVD-rental place also had Le Cercle Rouge (I didn’t see Rififi, however). After all, Adam and Matty loved it. Alexander recommended it. And well, I never mind gawking at Alain Delon for an hour or two, especially not after a hellish day at work (which it was).

Unfortunately, hellish days at work also tired you out: my eyes started drooping around ten thirty, and by the time the heist finally began, I was drifting off for second at the time, so I postponed the rest until this morning. It was a good decision: it’s a wonderful, tense, carefully plotted heist with barely any dialogue, and it deserves full attention.

Despite my wavering attention last night, I like that this film is so slow and deliberate. Almost a silent, in a way. It stands in sharp contrast with the much shorter but also much wordier and more convoluted The Killing. But I can imagine some would find it too slow, and I won’t be showing it to the b/f any time soon.

Some other things, however, are beyond dispute. The greatness of the soundtrack, for instance. The beauty of the shots. And the unforced, self-evident coolness of Alain Delon, a man who manages to be beautiful even under a terrible mustache.

I have to admit my inner slasher also had a blast. There’s no homoerotic subtext to speak of, but listen to this: two men meet by chance, and happen to be exactly what the other needs. They circle each other at first, are weary, but soon they save each others lives, and by the end they trust each other implicitly and do not needs words to communicate.

Is that a love story or what?

All silliness aside, I can’t wait to watch Rififi and Le Samouraï (more Delon!). I don’t know if it’s the francophile in me, but these kinds of films speak to my imagination in a way films like The Killing (great as it is) don’t. I know they way this world smells, the way the people on the streets look and act. I see the Eiffel Tower and the Place Vendome, and I know on which side the sun will come up.

Damn. I need to go to Paris again soon.

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6 Responses to “Le Cercle Rouge”

  1. Great piece. I’m almost green with envy realizing you have yet to see Rififi or Le Samourai.

    Sometimes I want a time machine…

  2. Kaj said

    Which rental place is that?

  3. sarcastig said

    Go(d)zilla. They should have it again from Friday onwards 🙂

  4. Kaj said

    Ah, the very best.

  5. Sam Juliano said

    LE CIRCLE ROUGE is actually my favorite Melville film, edging out LE SAMAURAI, and ARMY OF SHADOWS. Indeed, it resembles a silent film, and it tense and deliberately plotted, slowly enveloping you in the proceedings. And it’s exceedingly well-crafted, all points you brought out in this candidly enthusiastic assessment.

  6. This is most definitely not a movie to watch when tired, particularly if you’re expecting something more action packed (as I was on my first viewing).

    I have yet to fully embrace this one above Le Samurai or Bob le flambeur (my favorite Melville), but give me time. I will.

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