Jean-Pierre Melville: The Moral Dimension of Crime

Jean-Pierre Melville in his own film, Two Men in Manhattan“A man isn't tiny or giant enough to defeat anything”—Yukio MishimaA voracious cinephile in his early youth, Jean-Pierre Grumbach's daily intake of films was interrupted by the Second World War when he enlisted in the Ffl (Forces Français Libres) and adopted the nom de guerre by which he's still known to these days: Jean-Pierre Melville. A tribute to his literary hero, Hermann Melville, and his novel Pierre: or the Ambiguities, the director would have his name officially changed after the war. The latter was to shape and inform many of his films and arguably all of his world-view, characterized by a sort of ethical cynicism where anti-fascism is understood as a moral duty rather than an act of heroic courage. Profoundly anti-rhetoric and filled with a terse dignity, his films about the Resistance, Army of Shadows (1969) above all,
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