L’instinct de mort
France/Canada/USA/Spain/England/Algeria, 2008, 113 minutes
Sun, May 3 / 6:15 / Clay / MES103Y part 1
Mon, May 4 / 6:15 / Clay / MES104Y part 1
This two-fisted, two-part epic charts the remarkable 20-year crime spree of Jacques Mesrine, France’s public enemy number one. With Vincent Cassel’s magnetic performance as its anchor, Jean-François Richet’s star-studded film rockets through Mesrine’s life with abandon—it’s biopic meets white-knuckle thriller. Each of the two parts is an autonomous, fully realized film; they are equally impressive experienced in order or reversed, as a set or as a singular cinematic experience. Part One begins during Mesrine’s military stint in Algeria, where the rush of power sends him home for more of the same. Falling in with the local crime boss (Gérard Depardieu), Mesrine takes to the role of gangster like he was born to it. Handsome, bold and quick-witted, he is soon kidnapping millionaires and robbing banks two at a time. His larkish exploits become brutally serious, however, once he flees to Canada and lands in the savage, “escape-proof” St. Vincent de Paul prison. Mesrine, of course, escapes in spectacular fashion, hungrier and more radical than ever.