Jean-Pierre Melville’s Le silence de la mer is undoubtedly one of the most assured film debuts of all time; an adaptation of an underground novel by Jean Bruller, written (under the pseudonym Vercors) during the Nazi occupation of France, the film shows a director already at the height of his visual powers. As film scholar Ginette Vincendeau points out in this excerpt from a new interview on our release, much of the film's power comes from the cinematic devices Melville uses to communicate the darkness of the story, particularly in his portrayal of the central figure of a German officer who has been billeted in the home of a middle-aged Frenchman and his niece.
Donald Richie Uncovers the Traces of a Lost Japan
In collaboration with director Lucille Carra, the renowned writer brought his impressionistic travelogue The Inland Sea—an unusual choice for a film adaptation—to the big screen.
A Palette That Sizzles On-Screen
Filmmaker Darnell Martin and writer Nelson George discuss how vividly Do the Right Thing captures the heat of a Brooklyn summer and the diverse skin tones of its cast of color.
A Genius of French Cinema Delivers a Career-Defining Performance
Raimu is at his subtle best in one of the most moving scenes in The Baker’s Wife, a moment in which the actor channels the collective despair of France’s working class.