Like Claude Chabrol's, Jean Pierre Mocky's CV is filled with a very long list of films but if the former's one includes a generous crop of masterworks, you can count on the fingers of your hand, the works which reach this scale in Mocky's copious filmography. "A Mort l'Arbitre" should be on the top of his most palatable pieces of work. Even if the somewhat botched job of the venture can irritate, it's a work that bears the hallmark of its auteur and is quite well controlled in the starting point and its development.
Because he whistled a penalty which made the local team lose, Maurice Bruno (Eddy Mitchell) is hunted down by a bunch of wild supporters led by Rico (Michel Serrault, one of Mocky's favorites). In spite of the efforts made by the police superintendent Granowski (Jean Pierre Mocky) flanked by his female partner, the situation's getting out of hand...
"A crowd is dumb, she always follows the craziest one". Mocky's opinion is perfectly illustrated in his work. The filmmaker plumps for a tawdry society phenomenon which is still a topical one more than twenty years after the shooting of the film: dogged football hooligans who are ready to commit acts of violence when something's wrong at a football game. Made in a quite homespun style, Mocky's film conjures up a discomforting climate thanks to a judicious choice of the scenery (Maurice's apartment located in an eerie, imposing place the underground gallery at the end of the film) and a suspense deftly maintained.
If you must choose 10 films by Mocky to remember, this one would have a meaty place.
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