Jean-Paul Belmondo in 10 films – Liberation

From Jean-Pierre Melville to Louis Malle, via Jean-Luc Godard and Alain Resnais, the actor has shot nearly 80 feature films. Drastic selection.

“Breathless”, by Jean-Luc Godard (1960)

With Breathless, Belmondo throws Godard as much as is thrown by him. In this first important role, he bursts the screen and even the fourth wall, sending the spectator to fuck himself with his nasal voice. He immediately becomes the face of a rude and cinephile youth, who has watched too many American B series films. All in gymnastics and mimicry (thumbs up), Belmondo is already ready to leap into popular cinema.

“Léon Morin, priest”, by Jean-Pierre Melville (1961)

Belmondo in a cassock, with no other finery than the charm of his presence, without foil or forcing anything, letting the grace of his voice and his movements glimpse the idea of ​​a peaceful God and a votive humanity, it is the tour de force that Melville achieved for this adaptation of Béatrix Beck.

“The Man from Rio”, by Philippe de Broca (1964)

Belmondo finds people to his measure to defy in Tintin of the screen all the laws of gravity: under the camera of Philippe de Broca, supported by the producers Alexandre Mnouchkine and Georges Danciger, the adventures of Adrien Dufourquet to the rescue of his fiancée and pre-Columbian statuettes amazed by their lightness, their humor, their stunts, and opened to Belmondo the doors of an international career, which he would never push.

“Pierrot le Fou” (1965)

Format 2:35, primary colors, total freedom set in a flamboyant frame. Second collaboration between Godard and Belmondo, Pierrot le fou pushes all the margins and flees until a dynamite resolution to impose the characters of a rebellious Ana Karina and a Belmondo baba of love. Aragon: “We are all Pierrot le fou, in one way or another, Pierrots who got on the tracks, waiting for the train that is going to crush them and then who left at the last second, who continued to to live.”

“The Thief”, by Louis Malle (1967)

Louis Malle follows the path of a burglar, Georges Randal, not for his prowess but for his fate. Orphan, penniless, the character embodied by a disillusioned Belmondo, embedded in the margin of existence, lives on this margin as best he can. The spectator does not enter mansions to be robbed, but behind the scenes of joyless lives.

“The Mississippi Mermaid”, by François Truffaut (1969)

“To love you is a joy and a suffering.” This sentence uttered by the fragile character of Louis Mahé at the end of the Mississippi Mermaid by François Truffaut, contains the paradox of this unloved film, which flopped at the 1969 box office, when it brought together the most beautiful couple of the time, Deneuve-Belmondo, on a paradise island in the Indian Ocean. The star duo, so magnetic that they iridescent every shot with their aura, but built against the grain, does not convince, and the film signs for Bébel the final divorce from the New Wave.

“Stavisky”, by Alain Resnais (1974)

The only collaboration between Alain Resnais and Belmondo, Stavisky traces the fall of a crook, press magnate and prince of the theaters; in the France of the leagues… and has the bitter taste of failure. Shunned on its release, it also seals the rest of Belmondo’s career who, co-producer, will then move towards a series of gun successes.

“Fear of the city”, by Henri Verneuil (1975)

Unique case of giallo giscardien, starting as a sub-prefecture thriller to turn into a nocturnal thriller, low head but quite fascinating, on the trail of Minos, ruthless serial killer all in leather, chilled smirk and glass eye, tracked down by a supercharged Belmondo to the roofs of Galeries Lafayette. Incidentally, one of the most beautiful soundtracks of Ennio Morricone.

“The Professional”, by Georges Lautner (1981)

The epitome of the Belmondo 80′s – leather, high waisted jeans, big guns, frantic action. Less untenable than the Ace of Aces, denser than le Marginal, the professional will be above all a huge popular success, mixing espionage and politics under the background of Françafrique. Irregardable, but not inaudible: Morricone, always – the commercial of Royal Canin, you know very well.

“Maybe”, by Cédric Klapisch (1999)

After the disappointments of daddy productions like Longed for (1995), Belmondo in escheat seeks the light, in vain, and turns to a new generation of filmmakers, here Klapisch, whose sole merit of this meta-pensum is to fix with some accuracy a haggard, sympathetic and burnt out state. the lamp of the late Bébel. The light will finish extinguishing at Leconte, Lelouch and Huster.

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