Wednesday, March 18, 1998

L’Armée des ombres

079446 / 16 / FR / 1969 / Melville, Jean-Pierre / war
Armée des ombres, L’ / Tuntemattomat sankarit / Maanalainen armeija (video). PC: Films Corona (Nanterre), Fono Roma. EX: Jacques Dorfmann. P: Robert Dorfmann. D+SC: Jean-Pierre Melville - based on the novel by Joseph Kessel (1943). DP: Pierre Lhomme. AD: Théo Meurisse. CAST: Lino Ventura (Philippe Gerbier), Paul Meurisse (Luc Jardie), Simone Signoret (Mathilde), Jean-Pierre Cassel (Jean-François Jardie), Claude Mann (Le Masque), Christian Barbier (Le Bison). 143’. 1,66. Finnish / Swedish subtitles by Mindele London / Maya Vanni. Print: SEA / Kinoyhtiö - short version, colour fading in some scenes, duration: 122’. Viewed in Helsinki, SEA, Cinema Orion, Wednesday 18 March 1998. **** In Finnish cinemas, a short 122’ version of the film was released. The full version has only been seen on TV and on video. - I have never seen the full version of this film, and would rather wait for the chance of seeing it on the screen than checking the video, since this story about ”the army of the shadows” is very darkly lit. - Each of Melville’s three Resistance films - Le Silence de la mer, Léon Morin, and L’Armée des ombres - is very powerful, and they all have a new aspect to reveal. The first two are about passive resistance, and the last one, finally, about the active one, where Melville can draw on his own experience. The fact that the film so closely resembles Melville’s gangster films has been a cause for criticism. I would rather think that the gangster films have a metaphorical dimension: their sadness is based on the experience of the Occupation and the presence of Holocaust.

No comments: