'Le Cercle Rouge' - High-Def Digest Review - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 04-08-2011, 12:24 PM
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Default 'Le Cercle Rouge' - High-Def Digest Review

Aaron has reviewed the Criterion release of ''Le Cercle Rouge.' He says this is a unique heist film. Fans will be happy with this Blu-ray, which features a solid video presentation, strong audios, and a few extras (though a few more might have been nice). Recommended.

Full review here:
http://bluray.highdefdigest.com/4605/lcr.html
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Old 04-08-2011, 07:12 PM
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Great review Aaron! It is always great to see more and more Criterion releases reviewed (I visited the site the other day and cofused the Still Waiting! review for the Still Walking one, what has happen to that one?) I really love heist films so this one is going to the top of my buy-list. Surprised there is no commentary for the film, most Criterion releases have one nowadays.
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Old 04-09-2011, 05:16 PM
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Default re: LE CERCLE ROUGE

I was left wanting by this Melville, in large part because I just saw DU RIFIFI CHEZ LES HOMMES, another heist movie 20 years its senior with a very similar style, in gorgeous B&W and from which the "silent" caper sequence in CERCLE is heavily influenced, not to say quasi-lifted.

So is the downbeat ending but Jules Dassin had a better eye and a more naturalistic ear. If you liked CERCLE, I cannot recommend RIFIFI enough.
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Old 04-29-2011, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SirVincealot View Post
I was left wanting by this Melville, in large part because I just saw DU RIFIFI CHEZ LES HOMMES, another heist movie 20 years its senior with a very similar style, in gorgeous B&W and from which the "silent" caper sequence in CERCLE is heavily influenced, not to say quasi-lifted.

So is the downbeat ending but Jules Dassin had a better eye and a more naturalistic ear. If you liked CERCLE, I cannot recommend RIFIFI enough.
i strongly disagree. Le Cercle Rouge is a highly existential, meditative film on self-respect, morality, and fate. unlike Rififi, LCR is a much slower burn of a film that encrypts its themes into the mind of the viewer where they stay long after the picture ends. it asks important and thought-provoking questions on the ethics of law and order, as well as present constant metaphors for destiny (of the "Red Circle" in this case) and, it's also one of the most beautiful and painterly films of the 70s; a perfect example of the collaborative effort between the director and the cinematographer, which each shot portraying a type of expressionism that the b&w photography of Rififi would never be capable of matching.

true, Rififi is the best French crime film of the 50s (although Melville's own Bob le flambeur is close behind it), but its faster pace makes the film closer geared to a simple entertainment vs. the more cerebral experience found in Le Cercle Rouge, and since Melville was originally scheduled to direct Dassin's masterpiece, one can surely understand why he made a heist scene in such similar vein, as he must have been aching to show everyone that his technical mastery of the genre rivaled any other effort ever seen before (or after for that matter).

i suggest you watch the picture again. for me, it's Melville's best film (and that's saying A LOT), and one of the most important and brilliant crime films the Criterion Collection will ever number.
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Old 05-02-2011, 02:03 PM
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watched it again last night, twice in 4 days, but the gap was only that lengthy because i didn't find 2 1/2 hours of free time in between.

this is one of my favorite films, 2nd tier to be exact. if Melville added music in just two more segments (where the scene of the bank lights shutting off transition of Montand's character creating the bullets [continuing it in that case] as well as where Montand is walking up the stairs of the bank prior to his handling of the sniper rifle), the film would've been perfect.



it's too damn bad that the legendary auteur had to die so early, as i'm sure he would've bounced back from the uneven Un flic to make more important masterworks to compliment Le Cercle Rouge, Army of Shadows, and Le Samouraļ; among others.

i wonder how the remake will hold up. inferior, of course...but perhaps it will be a solid homage to one of the greatest auteurs listed at Criterion.
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Old 04-01-2013, 12:22 PM
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I saw the post that this film will be going out of print, so I jumped on it. I've made a mental note of the title a few weeks ago when familiarzing myself with the current blu-ray Criterion releases.

I've decided to focus my Blu-Ray purchases primarily on Criterion releases. They seem like the best bet for a blind buy. This title seemed the most appealing of those going out of print, and it was just $25 on Amazon.

EDIT: Other recent Criterion blind buys of mine are Ministry of Fear, and Letter Never Sent. Haven't had a chance to watch either yet, I want to dedicate a large chunk of time so I can go through all the features on each disc after watching the films.
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Old 04-01-2013, 12:59 PM
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I was reading a bit of the review and saw this line...

"Not too many movies out there are brave enough to have long stretches devoid of dialogue or even a musical soundtrack. In 'Le Cercle Rouge' I would wager that there is more dead silence than there is actual talking. The way Melville directs these silences is the best part of the movie."

Now, having not seen this movie this is may be a big leap...but a heist movie that has more silence than dialog sounds quite a bit like Drive. For those who have seen both movies, is there any similarities between the two in that sense? Just a thought.
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Old 04-01-2013, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJScorpio View Post
I was reading a bit of the review and saw this line...

"Not too many movies out there are brave enough to have long stretches devoid of dialogue or even a musical soundtrack. In 'Le Cercle Rouge' I would wager that there is more dead silence than there is actual talking. The way Melville directs these silences is the best part of the movie."

Now, having not seen this movie this is may be a big leap...but a heist movie that has more silence than dialog sounds quite a bit like Drive. For those who have seen both movies, is there any similarities between the two in that sense? Just a thought.
That's an interesting analogy to draw. Thinking back on it they are somewhat similar, but 'Le Cercle Rouge' doesn't really have the brooding dark undercurrent that 'Drive' has. It's also not nearly as violent.
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Old 04-01-2013, 04:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paaron46 View Post
That's an interesting analogy to draw. Thinking back on it they are somewhat similar, but 'Le Cercle Rouge' doesn't really have the brooding dark undercurrent that 'Drive' has. It's also not nearly as violent.
Le Cercle Rouge is also going out of print, unlike Drive
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