A woman awakens from a bed topless, but she puts clothes on immediately and no nudity is shown. There is no sex. Woman is threatened about having the “vice squad” arrest her; implying she is a prostitute/easy. They ask her boyfriend vague questions about other men sleeping with her.


Film review:Translated by www.rabudo-ru.com


There is such a kind of film that the first shot can judge the level of the whole film. The lone killer is an example. At first glance, I thought that Bryson or Antonioni had changed his career to making crime films. The opening long shot took a whole cigarette. In the dimly lit room, a wisp of smoke rose slowly. The smoker lay on the bed, quietly imperceptible in the weak backlight. The birds in the cage were chirping and jumping, and the sound of cars in the street floated back and forth. Everything did not care about the guy lying quietly, smoking his first lonely cigarette before he went out.

Then a caption was superimposed on the picture: “the warrior can endure the most unbearable loneliness in the world. Perhaps only the tigers in the forest can compare with it”. Although this is a film with a killer as the protagonist, Melville did not lay out the prelude to the killing at the beginning, but just quietly pointed out “loneliness”, a sensitive word in philosophical discourse and an existing situation that countless people are experiencing.

Once it comes to the level of “loneliness”, it is doomed that this is not the usual police and bandit film. The film was shot in 1967, and a year later, the “may storm” broke out in France. College students strongly demand the right to participate in and express political speech, oppose “American capitalism, imperialism and foreign occupation”, and oppose “state machine and bureaucratic oppression”. In the film industry, the new wave films in France are surging, but Melville in this period is only independent. He integrates the elements of gangster films with the philosophical trend dominated by existentialism, as well as the fatalistic spirit in oriental philosophy, which has a deeper impact on him, forming his personal unique black film style.

In the film, “killer” is just Jeff’s career. People who know him know that “a lonely Wolf” is his real identity in the world. Before each work, he would rush to a quiet garage, change the license plate of the stolen car and take a gun. Every time I drive away, along with the dust rolled up by the car, there are only a few restless dog barks on the long path

He has always been well planned, skillful and reputable. However, after an operation, she was finally bumped into by a female pianist. Strangely, she didn’t shout. We can’t help worrying that this is another stereotyped story. Beautiful heroines are always too easy to fall in love with beautiful killers with melancholy eyes. Fortunately, at the beginning of the film, when he first went out, the director had denied this concern. At the traffic lights, he and a beautiful woman glanced at each other with a Kafka look across the window and the rain. There was no communication, no chat-up, no romantic encounter, just a look, and then passed by. Although this is France famous for romance.

The police began a large-scale search and arrest throughout the city and arrested more than 400 suspects. Such a huge number is nothing to the detective, because there are 10 million people in the city! The criticism of the bureaucratic system of the state machinery is inadvertently pointed out here. The police finally released him because the pianist denied it. He didn’t understand why. But calmly, he analyzed two reasons: either she wanted to tease the police, or someone asked her to do so. Sure enough, the woman pianist’s lover is the boss who hired him to kill.

Because he was suspected by the police, the employer wanted to kill him. The police also clenched him and followed him. When the detective threatened and lured his girlfriend, he clearly told her “the truth is not as you said, but as I said!” This is a world without faithfulness, principles, ambiguity of right and wrong, unclear black and white, and only interests. Many years later, John Woo, a Hong Kong admirer of Melville, said through another killer in “chattering blood and heroes” that “the world has changed, and we are no longer suitable for the Jianghu”. However, in this film, the tough lone killer just tells people that he will never lose. He has to start first!

He skillfully got rid of the following policemen, stole a car on the side of the road, rushed to the employer’s house, preempted and put down the owner of his last business and next business. Then he rushed to the club, listened to the female pianist quietly for a while, and pointed his gun at her – it turned out that this was the last business given by the employer he killed. At this time, the police shot and he fell on his back. When the proud policeman picked up his gun, he found that there was no bullet in it!

Although it is a film describing the violent society of gangs, it does not have too many action scenes. In a very few gun battles, it is handled neatly. Alan Delong’s killer is used to silence, wrapped in a windbreaker with a raised collar in the cold city. Although he is a ruthless killer, he has his own set of moral standards, just like a modern warrior who advocates honor and morality. He has no friends and doesn’t mind that his girlfriend has other accounts. He just goes to see her before each murder, as if it was just because she “likes the feeling of being needed”. At the same time, he would not accept the gangster’s contract to kill the female zither player, because he had received the favor of the female zither player. He would rather sacrifice himself than take care of morality.

In order to present the killer’s lonely inner world, Melville adopts a very stylized minimalist approach, which is extremely concise from scene, lighting, performance and dialogue. Simple enough to make people feel cold, the modern city is as alien as Antonioni’s lens, but extremely powerful, full of inescapable destiny!

Like all real masters, Melville’s lens just calmly captures the world. Without adding a narrator or inner monologue in the case of few dialogues, every character seems to be secretive. This is not to stop at the surface, not to know how to dig deep, but the surface is enough, the world is secretive, and the real communication is beyond language. Those who know can judge and convey everything at a glance without much explanation. Just like the killer and the female pianist, they are the two loneliest people in the film. Their recognition and communication of loneliness have been invincible in the quiet look at each other.

It is generally believed that Melville seems to put the women in his films in an insignificant position. In fact, this is a misunderstanding. The female pianist in this film may have less words in life than the lone ranger. Her experience and performance of loneliness has gone beyond being alone. Her loneliness is that she can still play the piano with a smile in front of death. When he came to the club, she had already expected everything, but she just played her piano quietly and reminded him to leave quickly. When he took out his gun and pointed it at her, she smiled unexpectedly, as if it was a mother’s prank facing her child, and gently asked, “why?”

Why? Both for morality and not just for morality. In a world of moral collapse, his arrival was more a generous death than a business agreement. For a lone ranger who deeply appreciates loneliness, the fate of death is already inescapable, but the time, place and way still need to be considered, and the best outcome is to die in front of a “invincible” person!

And “death” is really the only philosophical proposition! (Camus)

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