Welcome to Project 77, a series in which we will examine some of our favorite films by breaking them down and analyzing what we see every 77 seconds on screen.
First up, Jean-Pierre Melville’s 1967 French Noir Masterpiece, Le Samourai.
Le Samourai: 00:12:50
At some point we’ll have to address the iconic look of Alain Delon in this film, but we’re going to save that for another day.
In this frame, Delon has finally arrived at the nightclub where he is finally going to commit the crime we’ve been building towards this whole time.
It’s believe this club is located somewhere around Champs Elysees, but I couldn’t confirm it.
Narratively, we’re not exploring anything new at this particular moment, we’ve already discussed a man hiding in plain sight, and we’re going to talk about it more later, but for now I’d like to take a moment to gush about how fantastic this shot is and how simple but insightful it can be.
We have a well composed scene, which we’re almost spoiled with in this film. The couple pass through the shot and the camera pans to reveal Delon being casual as usual.
What I love about these shots on the street is the natural juxtaposition created all over Paris with these beautiful building old buildings and their tarnished facades. The various shades of grey that create a gradient scale backdrop, but at the base is a layer of filth. There’s a million lines in this shot running in every possible directions.
Doesn’t that remind you of the complex life of le Samourai as he ventures down his many paths?