Cinema Roundup: February 6th

Cinema roundup February 6th

In 1958, at the tender age of 24, French film-maker Louis Malle made his directorial debut with Lift to the Scaffold, opening for a rerun at the Irish Film Institute tomorrow.

Like many of his contemporaries in the French New Wave, Malle was obsessed with American cinema and his debut is an attempt to recreate the style of Hollywood crime thrillers, with a distinctively Gallic twist.

The film stars Jeanne Moreau and Maurice Ronet as a couple who believe they’ve pulled off the perfect crime but are scuppered by a faulty elevator and a pair of car thieves. Jazz legend Miles Davis provides a memorable soundtrack. It’s been overshadowed by the likes of Godard’s Breathless and Truffaut’s The 400 Blows, but Lift to the Scaffold is one of the finest achievements of the French New Wave.

The latest eighties property to undergo the reboot treatment is Robocop. This new version attempts to turn the character into a superhero in an obvious attempt to cash in on the success of the Iron Man films. Despite an impressive cast that includes Gary Oldman, Abbie Cornish and a long overdue return to our screens for Michael Keaton, the film is an uninspired slog that eschews the satirical edge and over the top violence of the original movie for a family friendly rating.

The Oscar nominated Dallas Buyers Club also opens this week. It’s a problematic and offensive look at the AIDS crisis of the eighties. You can read my full review in the latest issue of our print edition going out today.

Picture Caption: Jeanne Moreau in Lift to the Scaffold
By Eric Hillis