Le Cercle Rougei (and which, we may point out to the readership, is NOT a French film, being a Franco-Italian "coproduction", or rather copro-duction, which very well does not count!)ii is more of the usual French nonsense. A dude bends a safety pin randomly and opens a pair of cuffs while his guard (in the train! they're transporting prisoners by vagon au lits, for some fucking reason) is awake, even. Try this shit sometime. Try it, go for it, let my girls (who have actual experience, with rape, and handcuffs, and all the rest of those things you fritter your days away dreaming of) have a good laugh. At you.
Then instead of dropping a heel on the guard's neck, and tie him in the cuff, and leave with his gun as peacible as you'd like, sight unknown, he... jumps out the window. Try this, try it some fucking time, who knows maybe your window's exceptional and we're rid of one.
And then the policemen look for him, a line of men shoulder to shoulder, five hundred idiots to the hundred yards, with a poor confused German shepherd in the middle. A single solitary guard dog they had sniffing a spit spot, a misfortunate creature that's not even a bloodhound. That's how they do the whole baying hounds thing in France, this Everglades of yurp where a man could hide and never ever be found at this rate (except of course if he's in a film). No skeeters, no gators, just dumb oozing everywhere. What a place!
If I sound offended it's because I am fucking offended. For my great merits and Fortune's own cares I had to play both sides of that tiresome game, and it ain't anything like the fucking spurious mommyboys & French papitoi imagine it to be. Anything at all.
That all said, the scene where the two men face-off in a field, "t'as pas peur ?" "de quoi ?" followed (as it necessarily must be followed) by "C'est le fin de la route, Corey!" "Mains en haut!"... That sequence has all the round, resplendent weight of absolute truth, just like the ancient motifs of ancient legends. The man marked for death, you see, saved from certain death by the dubious. By the sheer coincidence of the man hidden in his trunk, the agressive, the dangerous inconnu, the thieving, the conniving autre, breaking and entering, holding him at gunpoint... Yet, what shall I fear of the unknown ? True danger always lies with the familiar, never the alien. "We only off each other", as the man once said. I wouldn't go as far as to say it rescues the film ; but it's definitely worth seeing in its context, unworthy of it as that, or any other, context may ever be.iii
But for the record let it also be stated plainly that I will shoot the inept poseur in the fucking face for pompously purporting to check out gems by the firelight with sunglasses on. In his own fucking house, wearing sunglasses! As the man once said, "if you give that Nimrod as much as a length of rope Ima shoot him on general principle". It's simply a matter of hygiene (and as La Santa once said, "hygiene is important"iv)———
- 1970, by Jean-Pierre Melville, with Alain Delon & Bourvil (De Funes' bentnose sucker). [↩]
- Oh and by the way -- I notice now Un prophete was not merely reviewed back in 2014, but greatly influential in Republican culture. [↩]
- I suppose, in fairness, things like the furniture girly standing for no reason in the shot, immobile, incomprehensible in her impossibly inadequate outfit are also pretty lulzy, after a fashion. [↩]
- She might've been talking of tubers instead of hygiene ; and you shouldn't call her La Santa anyway, because, you see, she is a saint, but technically isn't one. [↩]