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Bank robbery in small town ends with one of the robbers being wounded. The loot from the robbery is just a asset for the even more spectacular heist. Simon, gang leader and Paris night club owner, must also deal with police comissaire Edouard Colemane, who happens to be his good friend. Written by
Dragan Antulov <email@example.com>
Films are often discussed in terms of genre. Most people view genre films as something that relates to Hollywood. Musical, Film Noir, Western... European cinema at the same time is often remembered as the cinema of the artist where each film is a one off event where the "message" transmitted dictates the visual form rather than its production as a generic film.
Nowadays the concensus is that the best of the Hollywoods generic films, such as Singin' in the Rain, The Big Sleep or The Searchers, stand comparison to the canon European filmmaking. However little attention has been given to generic films made in Europe.
If we leave aside national cinemas and genres and turn our attention to "Hollywood" genres in europe we find a couple of overlooked geniuses of cinema like Jacques Demy, Sergio Leone and the director of Un Flic: Jean- Pierre Melville.
They made generic films with a European twist: they borrowed from their more recognised colleagues the practice of only showing the essential. They learned their genres so well they were able to see what was essential. However where Godard or Bresson tried to understand what makes film a film and to make viewers aware of them watching a film Melville and Demy aimed at finding out why on earth Hollywood genre films can be so entertaining.
It is so difficult to understand why the French critics spend years of examining Hitchcock and legitimising our pleasure of watching genre films but totally neglect Melville and Demy.
As far as Un Flic goes, it is just a great film. I dare anyone who likes film noir to watch the opening bank robbery scene in the deserted Riviera holiday town in the middle of winter with the robbers' black buick sedan gliding on the rainy boulevard and not feel compelled to see the rest. Pretty much the same goes with the rest of his mature output, too.
Do yourself a favour and see this. And the Umbrellas of Cherbourg, too. (that's by Demy)
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