Thursday, May 01, 2008

Moments of Distinction

The Film – Bob le Flambeur, dir. Jean-Pierre Melville

The Set-Up – Bob invites the young waif Anne back to his place.

Anne sees Bob as a high rolling sugar daddy. She looks around his place and remarks that his family must be rich.

She asks Bob what he does for a living, and he replies that he is with the Ministry of Agriculture. “Equine preservation. I love the horses. I give them everything - My time, my money, my life.” Anne asks if it pays well, and Bob replies “Well enough to end up at the soup kitchen”

Bob then goes to the closet…

Which he opens to reveal a slot machine!

Bob plays a game…

And loses.

This little sequence encapsulates Bob perfectly. He’s gambled long enough to be resigned to losing, but there’s still a little part of him that thinks the big score is out there. When Anne remarks on the slot machine, he says “This is just for fun.” Yeah, right. Gambling is imprinted on Bob’s DNA, and once you understand that, it’s easy to imagine the events that lead to the films’ wryly ironic conclusion.

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