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Classic Cinemas

Presented in association with StudioCanal and Cinema Reborn.

How you should attend a Jean-Pierre Melville retrospective:
Tell nobody what you are doing. Even your loved ones – especially your loved ones, they must be kept in the dark.
If it comes to a choice between smoking and talking, smoke.
Dress well but without ostentation. Wear a raincoat, buttoned and belted, regardless if it's raining.
Any revolver should be kept, until you need it, in the pocket of the coat.
Finally, before you leave home, put your hat on. If you don’t have a hat, you can’t go.

Jean-Pierre Melville (1917-73) made a total of 13 features during his 25-year career. His “sensibility” can be traced through such formative influences as existentialism, surrealism, classic American gangster films, poetic realism and the America author Herman Melville (from whom he took his name).

In recent years a number of Melville’s greatest films have been digitally remastered and re-presented in the Classic Restorations sections of the major European and American film festivals. This work has recently been crowned by the magnificent restoration of one of his greatest films Red Circle (Le Cercle Rouge) which screened this month at the Venice Film Festival.

We now offer a selection of six stunning restorations of Jean-Pierre Melville’s intensely unique cinema. Our retrospective covers early work that influenced the French New Wave, two films which recall Melville’s own brave role as a combatant in the French Resistance during WW2, and key late-career works devoted to the crime genre with French icons Alain Delon Lino Ventura and Catherine Deneuve - films which influenced future generations of filmgoers including Quentin Tarantino, John Woo and Michael Mann.