Saturday, March 14, 2020

Un flic



Melville's final film, in which the master had decisively simplified his line. Un flicA Cop [1972] — reductio ad absurdum, arbitrary, perfunctory even. Why not Four Hoods? Or An Informant? It's enough that in the quest of Delon's character ("Édouard Coleman") to put an end to criminal schemes, his ethos is the application of set, often unwritten policies; Melville renders Delon anonymous in spite of his movie-star-looks — what is a bit of a stunt in Le samouraï [The Samurai, 1967] in Un flic is perhaps an equally daring grounding of the man. In no other film — Le samouraï, L'armée des ombres [Army of Shadows, 1969], Le cercle rouge [The Red Circle, 1970] — are the steel blues and greys of the filters, gels, color-timing, sets, and wardrobes so persistent nor so ominous, nor so severe: take the seaside bank at the opening of the film, undoubtedly one of the bleakest locations in all of French cinema. The characters here represent "égarés," lost in time in a world unmoored from an actual present; Un flic is not so much a film of '72 as it is a proverbial train-set upon which Melville lays the tracks of his obsessions, underscored most movingly in the sequence involving the train and the helicopter, obvious miniatures that harken back to an earlier cinema, one of Merian Cooper and Alfred Hitchcock. To be stranded in the world of Un flic is to experience the least routine of pleasures.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.