When: Wed., June 28, 7 p.m. 2017
Melville was one of cinema’s great modernists, a true French independent and forerunner to the New Wave. In Léon Morin, Priest, he took two actors associated with the New Wave—Jean-Paul Belmondo of Breathless and Emmanuelle Riva of Hiroshima, mon amour—and, paradoxically, created a film that has more ties to Robert Bresson than to Bob le flambeur. Casting the boyish Belmondo as a priest with a missionary bent is one of the intriguing ambiguities of this film. Riva is a Communist drawn to the cleric and, through desire, into an attempt at religious conversion.