Rififi/Topkapi (1955/1964)

The Aero theater in Santa Monica screened these two films as part of a Tribute to director Jules Dassin last weekend.

I had the pleasure of seeing Rififi for the first time on film about 4-5 years ago when Dassin himself presented the film at LACMA.

Since then Dassin has past away (he was already in his 90’s at the time), but his cinematic legacy is still alive and kicking.

Rififi is one of those films that get better with each viewing and your appreciation for how perfect the film is just grows.

Even though the running time of the film is over two hours, it is so tight and breathtaking that it feels more like one of those ultra efficient 70 minute American film noirs of the 40’s.

Topkapi is a nice companion piece to Rififi. It has probably been about 15 years since I last saw the film on VHS. My impression was always that it is the weaker of the two, and that impression still stands, but it is also much more light-hearted, breezy and colorful.

All in all a very cool evening, it was nice to see the Aero jam packed and it was nice to listen to people who were introduced to Rififi for the first time discussing how awesome the movie is in the hallway after the film.

Rififi - One of the ultimate films about craftmen at work

Rififi - One of the ultimate films about craftsmen at work

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~ by bettertomorrow on May 21, 2009.

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