Directed by Jean-Pierre Melville (France/Italy, 1967, 107 min.). In French with English subtitles. 35mm.
This French-Italian neo-noir follows hitman Jef Costello (Alain Delon) as he carries out a hit on a nightclub owner. Always cool and thorough, Costello is disconcerted to discover he’s left a witness to the crime: the club’s beautiful piano player (Cathy Rosier). Before he can take out the girl, the police bring him in for questioning. Although he is soon released for lack of evidence, Costello’s role quickly changes from the hunter to the hunted, trailed by the determined police as well as his own crime bosses. The cool assassin in Le Samouraï has been referenced by countless subsequent films, including John Woo’s The Killer (1989), Jim Jarmusch’s Ghost Dog (1999), and Nicholas Winding Refn’s Drive (2011). In honor of its 50th anniversary, Le Samouraï received an exquisite 35-mm restoration. Prints courtesy of the Institut Français. Special thanks to the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.
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