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Directed by Jean-Pierre Melville

France 1967 105 mins. In French

For many Jean-Pierre Melville’s best film if not masterpiece, Hong Kong action film legend John Woo once called Le Samouraï “the closest thing to a perfect movie that I have ever seen.” Jeff Costello (Alan Delon) a cool-eyed contract killer known for his extraordinary attention to stylish detail, meets the beautiful lounge pianist Cathy and suddenly his well-ordered world starts to unwind. Melville’s Japanese reference in the film’s title is twofold: on one hand Costello is a kind of modern warrior bound by a strict code of ethics. On the other, the film is as ritualized as a kabuki drama, with each genre convention of the noir crime thriller foregrounded and emphasized as it meets Paris pop culture. “If you care about the possibilities of style you won’t want to miss Le Samouraï. Like nearly all of Melville’s work, it does what we expect movies to do: It takes us into a more magical world than our own.”– John Powers, Vogue