90 minutes| France| 1994| Subtitled| Colour| 35mm

This film screened 23rd January 2010.

The moral ambivalence, playful approach to narrative and fascination with male identity that characterise Jacques Audiard’s later work are already evident in his first feature as director. Regarde les hommes tomber is ingeniously structured as a road movie cum crime thriller with two parallel plots. In the first, a middle-aged salesman (Jean Yanne) leaves his family to track down the killer of a friend who was a cop. At the same time, we follow the growing relationship between a hardened con-man (Jean-Louis Trintignant) and the dim-witted innocent (Mathieu Kassovitz) who befriends him. Inevitably, the two plots converge as the salesman’s sleuthing leads him to the dubious duo.

Darkly humorous and filled with ominous details, Audiard’s script is a thrilling variation on the modern film noir. The performances are outstanding, not only from veterans Yanne and Trintignant, but also relative newcomer Kassovitz, who went on to star in A Self-Made Hero.

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