I learned of Jean-Pierre Melville‘s super-cool, ultra-controlled gangster movie Le Samouraï from John Woo. In my defense, it was the ’90s, I was young, and Woo’s highly stylized films A Better TomorrowThe Killer and Hard Boiled had me reading every possible interview with the director. It was probably in the pages of Asian Trash Cinema where I first found Woo extolling the virtues and influence of Melville’s film.

Years later, the director began to talk actively of remaking Melville’s movie, and that project is still in play to some extent. In a new reeport, Woo says that the script is being worked on now, and that German financing will be one big reason to transplant the action from Paris to Berlin. Read More »

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If you haven’t seen the key films by Jean-Pierre Melville, now is a great time to change that. Movies like Bob le Flambeur, Le Samourai, Army of Shadows and Le Cercle Rouge (The Red Circle) have inspired many notable filmmakers and are, simply, magnificent cinematic experiences.

Remarkably, most of his major films have escaped being remade, though John Woo (a major Melville fan) has talked about remaking both Le Samourai and Le Cercle Rouge. The latter passed from his hands into those of Johnnie To, who had actors attached, then it went briefly to John Hillcoat. Now the Le Cercle Rouge remake is in entirely the wrong hands: those of Unknown director Jaume Collet-Serra. Read More »

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Jean-Pierre Melville‘s film Le Cercle Rouge (aka The Red Circle) has been possible remake fodder for years. John Woo had his eye on it at one time (he’s long been a Melville devotee) and over the last couple of years it looked like Johnnie To was going to direct his own version. (Which was an idea that thrilled me, frankly.) Now John Hillcoat is being pursued as the latest director, and is actually talking about the project, at least in cautious terms. Read More »

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