Monday, January 25, 2016

La Nuit du carrefour


1932, France, directed by Jean Renoir

One of the very first Maigret adaptations -- there was another the same year, of which I've found no trace [, and just one more during the 1930s -- and one of the strangest, with an almost abstract air at times, as well as a curious tendency to linger carefully over objects as much as on people. Although Maigret is as physically imposing a presence as on the page I still had the sense that he's operating here in a kind of existential haze, although this also captures the detective's ability to peer deep into the soul rather well. The film was made largely on location, in the kind of grim suburban setting so beloved of Simenon (that suburban setting was virtually a character in the novel of Monsieur Hire, for instance), and for the most part things are mud- and rain-soaked (foreshadowing, perhaps, the even muddier Une si jolie petite plage). 

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Boston, Massachusetts, United States