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"Army of Shadows" by Jean-Pierre Melville

The film “Army of Shadows” (French: L’armée des ombres) is a 1969 French film, directed by Jean-Pierre Melville (October 20, 1917 – August 2, 1973).

Melville is famous for being the first French director to use real locations regularly. His independence and “reporting” style of film-making had a major influence on the French New Wave film movement. Jean-Luc Godard himself used him as a minor character in his seminal New Wave film “Breathless”. Moreover, when Godard was having difficulties editing the film, he was inspired by Melville’s suggestion that he should cut directly to the best parts of a shot and after that the film’s innovative use of jump cuts have become part of Godard‘s fame.

“Army of Shadows” tells the intertwining stories of several members of the French resistance thus fundamentally moving beyond a story of the French Resistance in World War II. Filmed in a cold, documentary-like style, this film is probably the greatest Melville’s cinematographic achievement that is definitely worth watching.

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