Lock your doors—crime is on the rise this month in the West Village (and we can’t say we mind), thanks to Film Forum’s five-week series French Crime Wave: Film Noirs and Thrillers, 1937–2000, where you’ll come face to face with some of France’s most hardened tough guys (Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Gabin, Alain Delon) and calculating femme fatales (Catherine Deneuve, Simone Signoret, Jeanne Moreau). With an emphasis on the filmmakers of the ’50s and ’60s, the program of 38 noir films and thrillers includes works by Louis Malle (Elevator to the Gallows, The Thief of Paris), François Truffaut (Shoot the Piano Player, Mississippi Mermaid), Henri-Georges Clouzot (La Vérité, starring Brigitte Bardot in her best performance ever), and Jean-Luc Godard (Pierrot Le Fou, Breathless). Tonight, see Rififi (1955), which J. Hoberman said “more or less invented the idea of French film noir” and won Jules Dassin a Cannes Best Director prize. Later in the series, catch La Cérémonie (1995), a psychological thriller about a bourgeois couple in search of a housekeeper, and Murderous Maids (2000), based on the true story of two fiendish sisters who kill their employer and her daughter.
Aug. 10-Sept. 11, 2008