Elevator to the Gallows
(Ascenseur pour l’échafaud)
Jeanne Moreau, Maurice Ronet, Yori Bertin, Georges Poujouly,
We close out 2019 with Louis Malle’s first feature, an elegant, Hitchcockian thriller. Maurice Ronet and Jeanne Moreau star as an ex-paratrooper and his lover whose plot to murder her husband goes awry. Adroitly bringing in the wider issues of the Indochina war, industry, and runaway machinery, Malle creates a milieu for his frantic, frustrated lovers (who never once share screen space), while an improvised score by Miles Davis becomes an abstraction of their punctuated existence. “A terrific thriller” (Caryn James, New York Times), and a perfect companion piece to Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool, also screening this month.