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Melville 100 at BAMPFA Pays Tribute to French Great

Some pretty tough films were directed by Jean-Pierre Melville, the French noir specialist who was born 100 years ago this year (he died in 1973, making the most of his 55 years of hard living). To celebrate his career, the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive begins its Melville 100 series with perhaps the quintessential Melville film, 1967’s “Le Samourai” (7 p.m. Thursday, June 8; also June 16), starring Alain Delon as a hit man double-crossed by his employers.

The filmmaker was born Jean-Pierre Grumbach, but took Melville — after Herman, his favorite writer — as his code name as a member of the French resistance during World War II. His wartime work informed the basis of the great 1969 thriller “Army of Shadows” (6 p.m. Saturday, June 10; also June 26) and 1949’s “The Silence of the Sea” (7 p.m. Sunday, June 11).

The 12-film series runs through Aug. 12.

— G. Allen Johnson

Melville 100: “Le Samourai,” 7 p.m. Thursday, June 8. Through Aug. 12. Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, 2155 Center St., Berkeley. $12. (510) 642-0808.

Image credit:
Alain Delon stars in Jean-Pierre Melville’s “Le Samourai” (1967). Photo: Criterion Collection, 1967
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