La lune dans le caniveau (The Moon in the Gutter), 1983

La lune dans le caniveau (The Moon in the Gutter), Jean Jacques Beineix. 1983. Based on the novel by David Goodis, no one is free from sin in this reimagining of Hollywood noir in the colorful docklands of Marseille—the international port signified as much by the world music on the soundtrack as by the cargo of giant bunches of bananas. A mix of high style and low narrative results in a film that borders on the cartoonish, or more accurately the comic, as in “graphic novel” (the execrable Dick Tracy [1990] stole many ideas from Beineix). But in the present age when graphic novels–a medium that lends itself well to noir–are considered serious art, the high style of LLDLC stands up beautifully. We can now see it was ahead of its time and merits re-viewing. Pop culture bonus: the femme fatale is played by actor Klaus Kinski’s impossibly gorgeous daughter Natassja.


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