Bleeding Steel Torrent
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Reading about French Thriller's from the 70's a few years ago,one of the first to catch my eye was a title described as being similar to the Giallo sub-genre,which I sadly could not find anywhere. Taking a look at recent listings of a DVD seller,I was surprised to see the original version (with Eng Subs) appear,which led to me catching my breath.View on the film:Pouring the Film Noir excellence of his 1962 title Le septième juré over Giallo ice, writer/director Georges Lautner reunites with juré cinematographer Maurice Fellous to effortlessly swig across genres,with Lautner crystallising their Thriller with the Giallo stylisation of rapid fire zooms,shining razorblades and pristine whites casting an icy atmosphere. Ending the mystery with a gunshot of Noir tragedy, Lautner dices the mystery with suspenseful first-person tracking shots which circle around each suspect.Currently the lone French adaptation of a Richard Matheson book, the screenplay by Lautner drills seeds of doubt over the identity of the killer by gripping ambiguity over the reserved feelings of Femme Fatale Peggy Lister,and the wrestling for her attention between Marc Rilson and François Rollin.Giving him and his then-girlfriend the lead roles as producer, Alain Delon and sexy Mireille Darc give very good performance as Rilson and Lister,with Darc walking Lister round in a dream-like state, and Delon giving Rilson a brittle compassion over finding that someone is bleeding.
It is to my knowledge the only novel by the great Richard Matheson to have been transferred to the screen by a French director.Georges Lautner,who made Mireille Darc a star in the sixties was responsible for ponderous comedies.From time to time,he would come up with an intriguing offbeat work.So were the highly superior "le septieme juré", "La route de Salina" (Rita Hayworth's fans should have a look) and "la maison assassinée"."Les seins de glace" (Matheson's "someone is bleeding ") has a good title:it's a wordplay: in French ,"saint" (saint) and seins (breast) are homonyms ."Les saints de glace" is a short period (11th ,12th and 13th of May) when the weather is reportedly cold.And the heroine's breasts are icy cause she cannot stand men anymore.Unfortunately ,I do not think that this movie is on a par with the three movies I mention above:first of all,Mireille Darc is a limited actress and her acting is not effective in a part which demands intensity,mystery and ambiguousness.Think of Catherine Deneuve in Roman Polanski's "repulsion" and you will know what I mean.But that's not the only flaw.First intriguing and even absorbing in its first half hour ,the movie becomes repetitive and drags on.You will guess the final twist long before the end.Delon appears only after 20 minutes.He and Darc were in love at the time and that explains why the final scene has a certain strength ,not unlike what the French call "amour fou"
(Canzler has parried the thrust, and his sword has passedthrough the chain hauberk deep into the Bailiff's breast.The latter staggers back, his astonishment that steelarmor should be pierced by mortal sword giving wayto a look of chagrin, and after endeavoring to steadyhimself with the blade of his sword, falls flat, his armorclanking on the road. The villagers drop their stonesand flee terror-stricken. Canzler stands for a moment,wipes the perspiration from his brow, then reaches downand takes up the Bailiff's sword by the point.)
I believe that Rabot would have liked to offer hisgood cigarettes to his neighbors; but it's sodifficult to speak, above all to give somebodysomething. So the cigarettes became covered withdust on the little board, and Rabot remainedstretched out on his back, quite thin andstraight, like a straw swept away by the torrentof the war, not understanding anything of what wasgoing on.
"Ah, Rabot!" said the lady in green,"what recognition ought we not to give you,you men who preserve unimpaired for us our sweetFrance! But, Rabot, you know already the g