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Posted by on Sep 3, 2010 in Kick-Back Friday

Kick-Back Friday: #132

Kick-Back Friday: #132

Army_of_Shadows.jpg

I’m not sure how Jean-Pierre Melville does it, but the director is somehow able to build tension and emotion in the most unhurried series of shots. Part of his success lies in the faces of his actors, including Lino Ventura and Simon Signoret, who have the intangible ability to engage while doing very little. But Melville also capitalizes on his actors’ gifts by thoughtfully sewing together still, or very nearly still, frames to authenticate a moment. Case in point is one scene in Army of Shadows (1969), a stark, uncompromising story of French Resistance leaders, in which two thrown-together “patriots” on a bench conspire silently, or nearly so, to kill their German guard and escape a Gestapo interrogation.

bmartin (1130 Posts)

A native East Tennessean, Barbara Martin is a formerly practicing, board-certified neurologist who received her BS (psychology, summa cum laude) and MD from Duke University before completing her postgraduate training (internship, residency, fellowship) at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. She has worked in academia, private practice, medical publishing, drug market research, and continuing medical education (CME). For the last 3 years, she has worked in a freelance capacity as a medical writer, analyst, and consultant. Follow Dr. Barbara Martin on and Twitter.