I found the insight into my favorite director nothing less than fascinating even without the clips. I mean, all of his statements are left intact, and that`s the most important thing anyway.
I absolutely agree! It is indeed a fascinating, unusual 'interview' piece. Melville, as Hitchcock once said of himself, is
his films; when Melville speaks, you immediately say to yourself, Yes, this
man made those totally unique films. It will be interesting to see the archive interviews that Critrion have dug up for Le Samourai
As for L`Armee des Ombres, I can`t wait for it on Crit, but I don`t think it approaches his best work. It`s certainly a lesser movie than Le Samourai, Le Cercle Rouge, Le Deuxieme Souffle and La Silence de la Mer, to name a few. Well, to me at least to me.
Hmm. It's a different film in many ways to his other films, yet it also shares many themes, ie honour, ambiguous moral codes amongst men, etc. The austerity in L'Armee des Ombres
is striking at times. Few 'War' films can match it for its total lack of sentimentality and romantic interludes, so it is definately an acquired taste and 'experience' and understanding of Melville's worldview and style are essential, I feel. Lino Ventura is an amazing presence in this film - his subtle gestures are beautifully done.
Criterion probably ought to release more Melville next year:
Le Silence de la Mer (1949)
Les Enfants terribles (1950) - BFI edition is good
Quand tu liras cette lettre (1953)
Deux hommes dans Manhattan (1959)
Léon Morin, prÃªtre (1961) - BFI edition is good
Le Doulos (1962) - BFI edition is good
L'Aîné des Ferchaux (1963)
Le Deuxième souffle (1966)
L'Armée des ombres (1969)
Take your pick, Criterion: I'll buy them all!
EDIT: The BBFC in rated L'Armee "12A" on July 26 for the BFI
Great news! Hopefully we'll see a DVD this year!