XL Popcorn – Bob Le Flambeur

List Item: Watch all of the “1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die”
Progress: 626/1007
Title: Bob le flambeur
Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Year: 1956
Country: France

There are certain genres of films that require more interest and attention than others because of their tendency to make cuts and  leaps. Film noir is truly the epitome of this.

I remember trying to watch The Big Sleep after staying up late for the Oscars… well to say that Wikipedia was employed regularly to keep me abreast of the developments is an understatement. My lack of attention due to sleep deprivation stopped me from enjoying this film as much as I could have. Still, not the film’s fault. With Bob le flambeur it was quite the opposite.

For a noir film that inspired Ocean’s Eleven due to the casino heist storyline I cannot believe how little this film interested me.  I have a tendency to disproportionately love film noir and yet every scene and attempt at a witticism just left me cold. Maybe it’s the fact that this isn’t a straight noir, but contains some early elements of French New Wave that turned me off? I don’t know.

It’s a pity because I enjoyed the other Melville film that I’ve seen (Le Samourai) and, on the surface, Bob le flambeur is a film that should have ticked a lot of boxes for me. I mean, I started writing this about 2 hours after watching this… and I can’t remember much other than a casual attitude to domestic violence, the idea of a gambler finally getting a win and something to do with lifts stopping at 5 am. That’s the level of impact it made on me.

Oh well, can’t win ’em all.


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