Tuesday, November 28, 2017
Jean Gabin. Le Tunnel, Zouzou, La belle équipe, Pépé le Moko, La grande illusion, Le quai des brumes, La bête humaine, Le jour se lève, and Les Bas-fonds. And those are the masterpieces BEFORE 1940. He fled France, abhorred by the stench of collaboration with the pro-Nazi Vichy regime. He made two good films in America, then enlisted in the army. His transport ship was shelled en route to Italy, and his hair turned a shock shade of white overnight. He was committed to socialist principles and looked great in a suit. He pared down his dialogue to essential outlines, and allowed instinct to fill in the gaps. A true titan of the arts, and maybe 50 quadrillion times cooler than, say, Jeremy Piven. Touchez pas au Grisbi is my favorite of his films - it utterly floors me every time I watch it.
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