Tuesday 29 January
Touchez pas au Grisbi
TOUCHEZ PAS AU GRISBI 1954 directed by Jacques Becker 92 minutes In French with English subtitles
This is a black & white dazzler by the impeccable Jacques Becker. It would set the standard for decades, and helped to give birth to an entirely new European film genre, known in France as the policier. This flick set the template of the aging gangster Max (Jean Gabin) who is lured into riding along for one last heist. Once the deed is done, he refuses to begin spending the loot right away. He's too clever for that... he lets things calm down and just waits for the time to pass and everybody to forget. From there, the film begins to tumble, and then it just tumbles and tumbles - leading to a dynamite climax.
But for me the story isn't so important. Stories are a dime a dozen. What is crucial is how a story is conveyed, and in this case we are transported through the lens of another world, another era. Thick with atmosphere and sparkling with black-and-white cinematography, we see a Paris that no longer exists. And yet it doesn't only document a long-gone city... but also the movements, gestures, glances, points-of-view, a quality of life that is utterly incomprehensible today. Weaving through all the scenes is a jazzy music score by Jean Wiener, that includes an irresistible, lonely harmonica interlude. Besides starring Jean Gabin in one of his iconic roles, it also features Lino Ventura, Dora Doll and a young Jeanne Moreau.
This will be a high-definition projection.
Date & Time:
- 3-5 €