Wednesday, August 10, 2011

22. "Rififi" from Rififi

No surprise that one of the great European noir flicks would produce such a slick and sexy nightclub number.  Rififi is a Parisian heist film and damn near the finest of its genre ever made.  And since it was directed by the king of the naked city himself, Jules Dassin, the film itself is neck-deep in noir, and all the better for it.

And so we're treated to this song of shadow play, an ominous moment in the film as the characters gather before the big heist.  It wears a richness that could only exist in black and white, and a sensuality almost foreign to modern audiences.  It feels both sexy and dangerous, and its timely placement serves to romanticize the job ahead, driving our expectations absolutely wild (and oh boy, does Dassin deliver).  The song itself bubbles over with energy, and doesn't seem to mind sticking in your head.  It's the first time in the movie where you realize you literally can't look away, and it only gets better from there.

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