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Le Samouraï

A. Ways into the film

 1. What is the significance of the film’s title?

 2. Looking at the film’s opening sequence, think about the following:

  • Use of colour
  • Use of music and sound
  • Camera work (camera angle, length of shot, camera movement)
  • Use of space

3. Working in groups of 2 or 3, pinpoint another example in the film where one or more of these features is used to good effect. Extract the example, put it on a memory stick and bring it with you to the class.

B. Analysis

1. ‘Jef Costello is a problematic central character: amoral, yet heroic.’ To what extent do you agree with this assessment of Costello’s role in Melville’s Le Samouraï?

2. ‘Le Samouraï is firmly situated in a specific moment in the history of French society and culture.’ Discuss the ways in which this is apparent to the viewer.

Prepare an essay plan for ONE of the titles given above. In your preparation for this activity, read

Did this article enhance your understanding of the film? Can it be used to enhance the arguments you are building for the titles given above?

C. Comparisons

Conduct a comparison of Jef Costello and Jo Timar. Think about parallels / differences in their functions within their respective texts.