Cross-continental crime in Jean-François Richet’s one-two punch of MESRINE films

“Mesrine is in the tradition of Jules Dassin’s Rififi or Jean-Pierre Melville’s Le Cercle Rouge: muscular, forthright storytelling, hard-smoking, hard-drinking action…” — Peter Bradshaw, THE GUARDIAN

Jacques Mesrine is no stranger to Montrealers – born near Paris in 1936, he was already a known criminal by the early 60s, and soon made his way to Quebec where he masterminded a slew of bank robberies, pal’d around with the FLQ, and was eventually arrested for attempting to kidnap his employer. But our prison walls couldn’t hold him, and he escaped and fled to France, where he quickly re-established himself as Public Enemy #1 on his home turf. While he didn’t quite come to a happy end, he did manage to pen an autobiography called L’instinct de mortin 1978, which has been reprinted numerous times in many languages.

People have compared Mesrine to American bank robber John Dillinger, an equally charismatic criminal who also got the film treatment last year in Public Enemies, and the Mesrine films have a distinctly retro feel about them (albeit recalling the classic crime films of the 60s and 70s rather than those of the 30s). French cult actor Vincent Cassel plays the title character, flanked by great company – including screen giants Gerard Depardieu and Roy Dupuis.

This ambitious, deliriously enthralling pair of crime thrillers isn’t the first time the story of Jacques Mesrine has been brought to the screen (preceded by Andre Genoves’ Mesrine in 1984) but it’s the first to live up to the legend.

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MESRINE: L’INSTINCT DE MORT screens Wed. July 28th at 6:30pm in the Hall Theatre
More info including film description, credits, images and trailer on the film page HERE.

MESRINE: L’ENNEMI PUBLIC No. 1 screens Wed. July 28th at 8:50pm in the Hall Theatre
More info including film description, credits, images and trailer on the film page HERE.


The real Mesrine

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