The MFA celebrates the centenary of Jean-Pierre Melville

“Bob le Flambeur” among the films in The MFA’s Jean-Pierre Melville Centennial. Jean-Pierre Grumbach loved Herman Melville so much that he used his name as a nom de guerre during World War II after the war actually changed his name to Jean-Pierre Melville. That’s how he’s credited on the 13 features he directed between 1949 1972, a before his death. Starting Friday, the Museum of Fine Arts will six of as part of a centenary tribute . Melville was born 100 years ago last month. Films in the series appear below in boldface. Besides the most Franco-American name in film history, Melville also had the most Franco-American sensibility. The American part is easy to see (and savor) in the crime films he made. Tough, taciturn men wear trench coats and fedoras, smoke constantly, listen to , drive big cars, and even bigger plans. Few if any of those plans are legal. These movies are fever-dream versions of the American gangster film, with Jean-Paul Belmondo or Alain Delon, packing Gauloises along with a gat, substituting for Bogart or Cagney. The archetypal Melville title is “Le Doulos” (1963): “doulos” means both stool […]

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