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Wed, 24 Jul


Watershed, Bristol

Le Samouraï (1967): Film Noir UK

Le Samouraï (1967): Film Noir UK
Le Samouraï (1967): Film Noir UK

Time & Location

24 Jul 2024, 21:00 – 25 Jul 2024, 01:00

Watershed, Bristol, 1 Canon's Rd, Bristol BS1 5TX, UK

About the Event

The icy hitman trope was arguably created, perfected and finalised entirely within Jean-Pierre Melville’s Le Samouraï, which stars Alain Delon as Jef Costello, a lone contract killer beholden only to his paymasters and to an obscure code of honour.

Of course, things start to go awry. A botched killing allows the cops to close in on Costello, who suspects one of his employers has put out a hit on him. Increasingly, he is left with nowhere to run.

Delon, with cheekbones capable of cutting cucumbers and breaking hearts, was already a huge star by the time Melville cast him in what would become the French director’s most iconic film. But it was Le Samouraï, more than any other film, which solidified his persona as an icy-cool, impossibly beautiful mask of an actor.

Delon's performance led to a succession of strong, silent types for him, which inspired a rich lineage of fellow hitmen: those of John Woo’s Hard Boiled, Jim Jarmusch’s Ghost Dog, David Fincher’s The Killer, and perhaps most visibly the John Wick franchise.

Restored in 4K by Pathé and the Criterion Collection at L’Immagine Ritrovata from the 35 mm original camera negative. With an introduction by film historian, programmer and video essayist Jonathan Bygraves.

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