Film Forum’s tribute to the great French master Jean-Pierre Melville starts this week. (You can read my essay about the director and his films here.) In celebration, we’re sharing this beautiful reminiscence published in the July 6, 1982 edition of the Village Voice. It was written by German director Volker Schlondorff, director of such notable films as The Tin Drum and The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum (and later, the first film adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale). Schlondorff had worked with Melville as an assistant in his youth. Here, he describes the man as he knew him — as a friend, mentor, cinephile, and icon.