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SUBWAY – 20 year anniversary

Director: Luc Besson

France. 1h 42min. 1985


Luc Besson’s second feature went a long way in establishing both his style and his reputation. A rambling plot follows dinner-suited safecracker Fred (Lambert) as he tries to blackmail rich party girl Helena (Adjani). Deciding he might be in love with her, he dives down into the Metro system and hooks up with a bunch of colourful Parisian losers. There’s roller-skating purse-snatcher The Roller (Jean Huges Anglade), a dodgy florist (Richard Bohringer) and Jean Reno’s silent, nameless drummer. Some comically inept cops are after them, but Fred is determined not only to win Helena, but also to stage a gig for his band. This was a time when films that looked like expensive rock videos were considered a good thing (such style over content French films of this era were called ‘cinema du look’). So, from Lambert with his Billy Idol hair (the part was originally offered to Sting) to the synthetic funk-rock soundtrack, the film is firmly rooted in the 80s. Besson isn’t taking all this too seriously, though this films’s style exceeds its substance, its style is still pretty darn impressive. Cast includes: Christophe Lambert, Isabelle Adjani, Richard Bohringer.

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