French crime films conjure up Belmondo and Delon, Jean Gabin and Jeanne Moreau, plus directors such as Louis Malle, François Truffaut and Jean-Pierre Melville.
With two French crime films in this year’s Festival – ‘Classe Tous Risques’ (‘The Big Risk’) and ‘The Sicilian Clan’ – bookending the 1960s it is clear what a fertile period this was. Although the crime genre in France is much more than film noir alone, it is no coincidence that it was French critics who coined the term. Organised crime and heist movies are a staple of many film cultures but there is a particular Gallic style which lends itself to the genre. French film fans Patrick Hargood, the Cinema’s Education Officer, and the Education Team’s Sandy Guthrie will be launching an investigation into crime – French style, in a talk that will be illustrated with clips that highlight just what makes French crime films so enthralling.