Programmed by Alexander Fee
Influenced by the likes of John Garfield and Montgomery Clift, Alain Delon took on his own stature among the greats as a prominent French actor of the early 1960s. Spanning a decade of his career - from 1960 to 1970, this retrospective aims to demonstrate the vast breadth of Delon's abilities - from a nihilistic coldness to an impassioned fervor. Delon first established his reputation as an international star with breakout performances in the passionate, sun-drenched thriller, Purple Noon (an adaption of Patricia Highsmith's The Talented Mr. Ripley), and the sweeping, melodramatic, Italian epic, Rocco and His Brothers. With this newfound stardom, he was propelled to the forefront of European cinema and continued to distinguish himself with further notable performances. Working predominantly in Franco-Italian productions, Delon collaborated with a wide array of renowned European directors including Luchino Visconti, Jean Pierre Melville, and Michelangelo Antonioni as well as appearing alongside stars such as Claudia Cardinale, Jean Gabin, Lino Ventura, Monica Vitti, Burt Lancaster, and Romy Schneider. Delon's filmography demonstrates a diverse and celebrated output; included in the series are staples of French and Italian cinema such as Visconti's operatic epic Il Gattopardo, Antonioni's mysterious and beautiful L'Eclisse, and Melville's revered Le Samouraï. Alain Delon embodied the effortlessly cool demeanor and suave sophistication that his acclaimed roles demanded - a virtuosic emblem of 1960s European cinema. This series was sponsored by the France Chicago Center and Istituto Italiano Di Cultura and made possible thanks to the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and the Institut Français.
(René Clément, 1960) · A mesmerizingly romantic meditation on murder and passion set on the high seas, the best adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's novel stars the devastatingly handsome Delon as Tom Ripley, a man driven to violence by his craving for an aristocratic life. Purple Noon is a passionate and sun-drenched thriller, beautifully shot amid a technicolor, indigo-tinged Mediterranean, a backdrop that exists in poetic counterpoint to the sordid affairs to which it bears witness.
runtime: 118m format: 35mm
(Luchino Visconti, 1960) · Paving the way for the work of Scorsese and Coppola, Visconti's masterpiece chronicles the rise and fall of a close-knit family of five brothers. United by their strong-willed mother, they encounter conflict and strife - particularly when both the saintly Rocco (Delon) and his brother Simone (Renato Salvatore) fall for the stunning Nadia (Anna Giradot). Virtuosic and grand, Rocco confronts the inner conflict of lust and familial love in an operatic fall from grace.
runtime: 177m format: 35mm
(Michelangelo Antonioni, 1962) · The final film in Antonioni's trilogia dell'incomunicabilità, and in many ways the crucial entry in this monumental work, L'Eclisse focuses on Vittoria (Monica Vitti) as she drifts apart from her lover, finding solace in the arms of a materialistic stockbroker, Piero (Alain Delon). Amid the passion of this doomed affair and against the backdrop of a crepuscular Rome, Antonioni completes his cycle on the spiritual desolation of contemporary existence.
runtime: 126m format: 35mm
(Henri Verneuil, 1963) · Released from a 5 year sentence, aging criminal Charles (Jean Gabin) refuses to retire just yet. Uniting with his ex-cellmate, Francis (Alain Delon), the two plan out one last score on a luxurious casino. Despite their careful and intricate planning of what was supposed to be the perfect job, the pair find themselves in desperate straits when things go awry... Imported print courtesy of the Institut Français.
runtime: 118m format: 35mm
(Luchino Visconti, 1963) · Burt Lancaster stars as an aging prince - a remnant of the dying aristocracy, who sees his own culture and order crumble under the momentous forces of war and revolution. As his dominion tumbles, the Prince's fading nobility gives way to a new vision for Italy, led by a new class of leaders like his very own nephew (Delon) and bride to be. A rich and verdant depiction of Italy's Risorgimento, Visconti's sweeping epic is a truly cinematic experience - personal, romantic, and grand in its vision of a bygone era.
runtime: 186m format: 35mm
(Jean-Pierre Melville, 1967) · Le Samouraï, Melville's triumph of cinematic style, redefined the French noir with its existential dread and nihilistic indifference. Delon stars as Jef Costello, a white-gloved angel of death, whose participation in a murder brands him as its prime suspect, despite an airtight alibi. Delon's Costello exudes an aura of unparalleled coolness as a lone wolf under fire from all sides. Imported print courtesy of the Institut Français.
runtime: 101m format: 35mm
(Henri Verneuil, 1969) · From the initial chords of Ennio Morricone's striking score, The Sicilian Clan descends into the mafioso's world of crime and honor. Master thief Roger Sartet (Delon) is sprung out of prison by Vittorio Manalese (Gabin), a ruthless capo in need of Sartet's expertise. Eyeing a diamond exhibition en route to New York, the two plan an elaborate heist, which includes hijacking an airplane. However, a betrayal sets into motion a tense conflict among the criminals.
runtime: 122m format: DCP
(Alain Cavalier, 1964) · Perhaps best known for supplying the cover of The Smiths' seminal album The Queen is Dead, L'Insoumis stars Delon as Thomas Vlassenroot, a deserter from the French Foreign Legion in the failing Algerian War. Approached by a former lieutenant now working for the OAS, Thomas is offered a chance to return to France if he kidnaps lawyer Dominque Servet. However, Thomas falls for the beautiful Dominque and tries to escape with her as the OAS hunt them down.
runtime: 115m format: DCP
(Robert Enrico, 1969) · The Last Adventure is a forgotten gem. It follows two likeable buddies, Roland, an inventor (Lino Ventura), and Manu, a daredevil pilot (Delon), who both fall for a failed artist (Joanna Shimkus) on their quest for a sunken plane full of treasure. A time capsule recalling the old-fashioned adventure films of the 60s, The Last Adventure is a brilliant, melancholic, and rarely screened delight. Note: Film is dubbed in English.
runtime: 112m format: 16mm
(Jean-Pierre Melville, 1970) · "When men, even unknowingly, are to meet one day, whatever may befall each, whatever the diverging paths, on the said day, they will inevitably come together in the red circle." A chance encounter between Corey (Delon), a recently released ex-con; Vogel, an escaped prisoner; and Jansen (Yves Montand), a washed up ex-cop, provides an occasion for a daring heist that culminates in a hypnotic, inimitable sequence - devoid of speech - lovingly devoted to the art of theft.
runtime: 140m format: DCP