FILM NOIR SERIES
Friday is dedicated to thrillers at COLCOA. This year, four films represent the Film Noir genre, symbol of the mutual influence of French and American cinemas.
Friday April 28 - 1:20 pm – Renoir Theater
Film Noir • Special Presentation • Colcoa Classic Series • Free screening
In celebration of the 100th anniversary of Jean-Pierre Melville, the filmmaker who transformed the crime thriller into high art, COLCOA is proud to present his most acclaimed picture, Le Cercle Rouge (1970). With a formidable cast including Alain Delon, Yves Montand, and Bourvil, the boilerplate plot involves a suave criminal mastermind, a vicious escaped convict, a washed-out ex-cop with a knack for hitting bulls-eyes before he started hitting the bottle, and a relentlessly nasty, cat-loving detective methodically hunting them down before they can knock off a prominent jewelry store on Place Vendome. Ostensibly a heist movie, what elevates it is the Melvillian flourishes – finely-honed visuals, poignant fatalism, and an explicit code of honor and loyalty. In Melville’s universe, a Gauloise cigarette is as essential as a gun, and which side of the law you’re on is less important than whether or not you betray trust. Another signature touch, balletic precision, is on glorious display in the film’s 20-minute show-stopping robbery sequence. Presented with the World Premiere of Melville’s restored first film, 24 hours of a Clown’s Life.
Friday April 28 - 5:30pm – Truffaut Theater
Thriller • North American Premiere
Cleverly evoking the era of analogue espionage while referencing more recent political events in France, this slow burning thriller takes a man wallowing on the outskirts of society and plunges him deep into the murky heart of power politics, high intrigue, and murder. François Cluzet plays Duval, former accountant, former alcoholic, current burnout with no job prospects. Desperate to get his life back on track, he accepts an unusual offer of employment. Everyday he is to come to a non-descript room, where he will transcribe cassette tapes of intercepted phone calls using an old typewriter. His mysterious employer Clément explains that this ensures that there will be no chance for the material to be digitally compromised. Most of the work is dehumanizing drudgery, but when the tapes reveal something Duval knows he shouldn’t know, he suddenly understands why he has been sworn to secrecy. It’s clear he’s a cog in someone’s machinations, but whose? As the walls begin to close in, Duval’s own paranoia is the only thing of which he can be certain. Co-written and directed by Thomas Kruithof.
Friday April 28 - 7:30pm – Truffaut Theater
Drama, Thriller • North American Premiere
This tightrope thriller takes a deep dive into the murky waters of corporate hierarchy to expose a high stakes game where the profit motive is eclipsed only by the prime directive : saving your own skin. Céline Sallette plays it cool as Emilie Tesson-Hansen, a woman who knows the rules of the game. As the head of Human Resources of a major conglomerate, she has mastered a calibrated femininity to match the ruthlessness and cold ambition expected from the higher-ups. When executive Stéphane Froncart (Lambert Wilson) devises a secret cost-cutting plan, he knows he can count on Emilie to implement it. What he doesn’t count on are the deadly consequences, and the resulting formal investigation into company practices launched by labor inspector Marie Borrel. Emilie recognizes herself in Marie, but where Emilie is guarded, Marie is spontaneous, even provocative. This spurs Emilie to question her role as a good company soldier, but as Stéphane tries to direct Marie’s probe in Emilie’s direction, she is torn between the welfare of her fellow employees and the prime directive. Co-written and directed by Nicolas Silhol. Screening followed by a discussion with actor Lambert Wilson.
Friday, April 28 – 10:30 pm – Truffaut Theater
Fantasy, thriller • North American Premiere • After 10
This testosterone-fueled dystopian thriller is set in a demi-apocalyptic Paris of 2035. Disillusioned masses huddle in polluted shantytowns at the feet of monuments. Multi-national conglomerates control the government, including the police. As a diversion from the misery and poverty, much of the population turns to the Arena, a televised spectacle of ultraviolent gladiatorial contests. Competing pharmaceutical companies openly dope Arena fighters as a means of advertising their performance enhancing products. Ares, played by hunky Swede Ola Rapace (Skyfall), is a former contender long past his prime, but when his sister is arrested on trumped up charges, this badass with a heart of gold agrees to be a guinea pig for the latest wonder drug. If it works, he might win enough fights to buy her freedom. Only trouble is, no one has ever taken the drug and lived. Co-written and directed by Jean-Baptiste Benes.