Cinema Lumiere - Sala Officinema/Mastroianni > 14:30


Cyril Leuthy

Introduced by Cyril Leuthy


Sunday 30/08/2020


Original version with subtitles


Film Notes

“A friend once said to me: you’re the only case of success by intransigency I know of ”. Jean-Pierre Melville has always been a lone wolf and, though he belongs in the cinema’s pantheon today, he built his entire career outside the system, tracing a unique path to reinvent film noir. His films, at the same time personal and popular, have become masterpieces praised around the world: Army of Shadows, Le Cercle rouge, Le Samurai… Through extracts from his films, footage from numerous archives, precious insights from his family and former collaborators, such as filmmakers Volker Schlondorff and Bernard Stora, this film explores the private part of a man, and highlights an almost romantic destiny: war hero, a filmmaker with his own studio and even the spiritual father of the New Wave. Melville often let people film him. But he remained an enigma, having built himself an oversized ‘larger than life’ persona: with his perpetual Stetson, his dark glasses and his trenchcoat. He wore in life the same costume as his characters interpreted by Alain Delon, Lino Ventura and Jean-Paul Belmondo. A veritable mask. He even invented his own name. His story is that of a man ill at ease with his time, a nostalgic defender of obsolete values. Philippe Labro said of him: “He was at the same time the most visible and the most hidden of men”. By giving him back the floor, this film partly lifts the veil. It is also the story of a teenager who dreamed of America. This fascination never left him and nourished all his work. Years later, he continued to influence overseas filmmakers, who acknowledge his legacy: in America, Quentin Tarantino, Jim Jarmusch, Michael Mann, Taylor Hackford, but also in Hong Kong, John Woo and all the filmmakers of Hong Kong Noir. In order to get even closer to the filmmaker, the score is by Eric Demarsan, the composer of Army of Shadows and Le Cercle rouge.     

Cast and Credits

F.: Gertrude Baillot. M.: Cyril Leuthy, Michael Phelippeau. Int.: Thierry Hancisse (voce narrante). Prod.: Dominique Tibi, Cathy Palumbo, Roche Productions, Arte France. DCP.