Jean-Pierre Melville and Woo

Kenneth E. Hall

in John Woo’s The Killer

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print January 2009 | ISBN: 9789622099562
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882207097 | DOI:
Jean-Pierre Melville and Woo

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Like John Woo, French director Jean-Pierre Melville has often been considered an unorthodox force in his native cinema. A man of unusual life experience, including membership in the Resistance during World War II, Melville funneled his autobiography into his filmmaking. The most important of Melville's policies to a discussion of his influence on, and artistic kinship with and differences from, John Woo and The Killer, are Le Doulos (1962), Le Deuxième Souffle (1966), Le Samouraï (1967), and Le Cercle rouge (1970). They share with the Woo film personalist concentration on the underworld, including the police, and feature unhappy denouements for their gangster anti-heroes. What Woo did not inherit from Melville is the cynical world-weariness and gray exposition that pervade much of the Frenchman's work.

Keywords: Paris; Jon Woo; Hong Kong; The Killer; gangster heroes; Le Samouraï

Chapter.  3745 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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