Bob le flambeur (Bob the Gambler) | Jean-Pierre Melville | France, 1956

Film - Feature | June 24 | 6:30 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Roger Duchesne, Isabelle Corey, Daniel Cauchy, André Garret,

Bob le flambeur is Melville’s love poem to Paris’s Pigalle and its lowlife denizens. It’s a gangster film that is turned by Melville’s taste for the absurd into what he calls “a comedy of manners,” albeit cast in the shades of the pure policier. An aging safecracker and compulsive gambler, Bob (Roger Duchesne) lives by night and sleeps by day, and thrives on his nostalgia for the prewar gangster milieu, before the infiltration of the Gestapo upset the delicate balance between cop and criminal. He cruises Paris streets in a big American car dogged by a daring camera, a swinging jazz track, and a cool obsession. Bob’s going for the big stakes now: the casino vault in Deauville. “I like futility of effort,” Melville said. “The uphill road to failure is a very human thing. . . . Even so, Bob is still a light-hearted film, [one that] ends on a pirouette.”

- Judy Bloch

 Free for Cal Student Film Pass holders | $7 BAMPFA members, UC Berkeley students | $8 UC Berkeley faculty, staff, retirees; non-UC Berkeley students, 65+, 18 & under, disabled persons | $12 General admission