Le Tueur Cédric Anger

Le Tueur Cédric Anger
Le Tueur is the feature film debut of former Cahiers De Cinema critic Cédric Anger. It starts off vividly depicting the desperation of businessman Leo Zimmerman (Gilbert Melki) as he becomes overwhelmed by the paranoid idea that someone is tracking his every movement. Someone is, of course: the eponymous character, Dimitri (played by an effectively cast-against-type Gregoire Colin). Dimitri has come to carry out a contract on Zimmerman's life but Zimmerman catches on and offers him an interesting deal. Anger's film is not exactly the radical subversion of the crime genre that the booklet essay by Simon Laperriere (of Montreal's Fantasia Festival) suggests it is. The film's melancholic tone, with its world-weary characters cast adrift in purposefully drab locations, places it in a lineage going back at least as far as Jean-Pierre Melville (whose Bob Le Flambeur is duly cited by Anger in his booklet notes). It also brings to mind the bleak run of crime pictures made by Hollywood in the '70s (the likes of The Friends of Eddie Coyle and Straight Time). The film's uniqueness lies in its unusual emphasis on the quotidian: the loving attention paid to the Chinese mall through which Dimitri follows Zimmerman and the Mexican restaurant in which Dimitri eats his lonely dinners. It is the characters' workaday rituals and the very texture of the worlds they inhabit that stay with you. This quiet, haunting film marks Anger as someone to watch. Apart from the aforementioned booklet essays, the extras consist of Anger's striking short film Novela (also starring Colin) and a French-only director's commentary. (Evokative)