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Criterion Collection: Le Silence de la Mer | Blu-ray Review

28 April 2015 10:00 AM, PDT | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

Available for the first time in the Us on Blu-ray and DVD is Jean-Pierre Melville’s masterful directorial debut, 1949’s Le Silence de la Mer (The Silence of the Sea). Based on a famous underground novel published secretly in 1942 by author Jean Bruller, written under the pseudonym Vercours, the exceptional debut precedes the brooding themes that would grace Melville’s later noir and gangster films, as well as the continuation of period pieces concerning Nazi occupied France. Understated and elegant, it’s an incredibly haunting first title from the self-made auteur, an actual member of the French resistance (he adopted his surname for his love of author Herman Melville and it remained his pseudonym after the war).

Opening with a statement that the film has ‘no pretensions’ as concerns the relationship with France and Germany (whose people were complicit with the Nazi’s rise to power), we hear the omniscient narration of an elder Frenchman, »

- Nicholas Bell

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1 item from 2015


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