Sunday, 23 July 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 219: Wed Aug 9

Le Silence de la Mer (Melville, 1949): BFI Southbank, NFT1, 6.10pm


This film, which is also being shown on August 16th, is part of the Jean-Pierre Melville season at BFI Southbank. You can find full details here.

Chicago Reader review:
Jean-Pierre Melville made this film, his first, in 1948 on a minuscule budget and without securing the rights to the famous resistance novel (by Vercors) it was based on. It's an allegory of French-German relations during the occupation, played out largely in a single sitting room where a German officer (Howard Vernon) bares his soul in endless monologues for his silent, unwilling French "hosts" (Nicole Stephane and Jean-Marie Robain). The minimalism of the material anticipates Bresson, while the theatrical dash of the staging suggests the strong influence of Orson Welles. Though too often abstract and rhetorical, the film is sustained by mood and visual resourcefulness; it's a strong debut for Melville, who went on to become one of the great eccentrics of the French cinema (Bob le Flambeur, Le Samourai).
Dave Kehr


Here (and above) is the trailer.

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