Le samouraï by Jean Pierre Melville (France, 1967, 104 min.)
Hosted by Randy Williams—In French with English subtitles.
Jean Paul Melville has often been called the grandfather of the French New Wave (he even has a cameo in Breathless) but, always his own man, he rejected the label. His films, from the first to the last, look like his and nobody else’s. A true auteur, one of the Nouvelle Vague criterion, his films are still admired today by director such as Quentin Tarantino. In Le samourai, the satanically handsome Alain Delon plays Jef Costello, a contract killer, in a career-defining performance. After carrying out a flawlessly planned hit, Jef finds himself caught between a persistent police investigator and a ruthless employer, and not even his armor of fedora and trench coat can protect him.
"Le samouraï is a razor-sharp cocktail of 1940s American gangster cinema and 1960s French pop culture—with a liberal dose of Japanese lone-warrior mythology (...)." —Criterion
Randy Williams holds down a “day job” as a trust and estate lawyer. But the rest of the time he’s free to follow a passion for French language and culture begun as a university undergraduate. A library volunteer almost 23 years ago, he was asked to start a Ciné-Club for the Alliance. After protesting that he knew nothing about French film, he was assured that he’d learn. And he has, having conducted film showings ever since. In the meantime, he was elected to the Board of Directors, and was President of the Alliance for three years. He now serves on the Advisory Board, and has been decorated twice by the French government—once in the Order of Arts and Letters, and again in the Order of National Merit.
Film Retrospective 2018-2019
Nouvelle Vague, Revisited
Vintage cars and jazz music; love stories in black and white; reckless youth, smoke and style, so much style…Our new film series is all about the French New Wave with the films you know and love shown on Saturday afternoons, and weeknight screenings dedicated to the New Wave’s influence around the world and across generations—in the presence of our guest speakers.
Are you ready to be swept away? Here comes La Nouvelle Vague again!
Series curated by Aimée Laberge, and co-curated by Bailey Holtz and Randy Williams