The life of Dadaist poet Jacques Rigaut (which began this day in 1898) and his death (which we’ve already talked about) inspired Pierre Drieu La Rochelle’s 1931 novel Le feu follet (“The Fire Within”) which Louis Malle filmed in 1963. Maurice Ronet works his way round Paris slowly drinking himself to death in what is probably the first of many movies which would use Satie’s haunting piano pieces, particularly the Gnossiennes and Gymnopedies, as a kind of shorthand for melancholy.
An unlikely counterpart is The Legend of the Holy Drinker, an Italian production from 1988 based on the novel by Joseph Roth, describing his own drunken decline in Paris. Even more unlikely, it starts Rutger Hauer, better known from movies like Blade Runner and Batman Begins:
And while we’re taking a moody stroll around Paris, here’s Jeanne Moreau in Ascenseur pour l’echaffaud (“Lift to the Scaffold”) with its timeless soundtrack by Miles Davis:
An increasingly anxious Corinne Marchand wanders around Paris awaiting the results of a biopsy test in Agnès Varda’s Cleo de 5 à 7 (no subtitles with this I’m afraid, but there’s not much dialogue):
And finally — sigh— Alain Delon in the ultimate moody, noir-ish gangster thriller, Le Samouraï from 1967:
About XIIDX, the Strange Flowers XII Days of Xmas Film Festival
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Jacques Rigaut sent me here!
I’m glad he did! And you’ve reminded me – there’s an important Rigautesque anniversary coming up…