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Seeing Red: 3 French Vigilante Thrillers (Limited Edition)

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Genres: Thriller
Starring: Various
Director: Various
Plot Sypnosis:

Following in the rich tradition of crime stories in Gallic literature and cinema, the films in Seeing Red: 3 French Vigilante Thrillers—Shot Pattern (1982), Street of the Damned (1984) and Black List (1984)—reflect a collective paranoia about random violence in cities, as well as the international box office success of films such as Death Wish, which depicted ordinary citizens directly confronting criminals.

A Paris flea market vendor (Gérard Lanvin, Fred Cavayé's Point Blank) is transformed into a vigilante after his fiancée (Véronique Jannot, Sam Fuller's Thieves After Dark) is murdered by three vicious thugs (including Dominique Pinon, Beineix's Diva and Caro/Jeunet's Delicatessen) on a commuter train in Jean-Claude Missiaen's Shot Pattern (Tir Groupé, 1982). As the revenge-minded young man tracks the killers, a veteran police inspector Michel Constantin (Alain Cavalier's Midnight Raid) leads a parallel investigation. This lean, intelligently-crafted thriller packs an emotional punch, largely due to Lanvin's superlative performance, for which he received a César Award nomination for Best Actor. Shot Pattern also garnered nominations for Best First Work and Best Editing.

American crime writer David Goodis' novels have been adapted into numerous films, including Truffaut's Shoot the Piano Player, Delmer Daves' Dark Passage and Jacques Tourneur's Nightfall. For Street of the Damned (Rue Barbare, 1984), Gilles Béhat transposes Goodis' Street of the Lost from 1950s Philadelphia to a desolate, almost post-apocalyptic Paris suburb. There, no one dares challenge crime boss Hagen (Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu, George Sluizer's The Vanishing [88]), who rules his turf with an iron fist. That includes his former friend Chet (Bernard Giraudeau, Patrice Leconte's The Specialists), who vows to keep to himself in order to protect his loved ones. But Hagen keeps pushing his buttons… and Chet can only stand for so much before he explodes. Resembling a dark, offbeat comic book, Street of the Damned evokes films like Streets of Fire and Mad Max, and was one of 1984's most popular pictures at the French box office.

Three teenage Parisian punks are duped by a crime syndicate into committing a bank robbery that will distract the authorities while the seasoned crooks hijack an armored truck across town in Alain Bonnot's Black List (Liste Noire, 1984). Disaster ensues and two of the youngsters are killed, including the estranged daughter of widowed auto repair shop owner Jeanne Dufour (Annie Girardot, three-time César Award-winner and star of Visconti's Rocco and his Brothers). A grieving Jeanne ignores her own fear, as well as the law, and sets out to eliminate all of those responsible for her daughter's death. Groundbreaking in its portrayal of a female vigilante, Bonnot's adaptation of Gérald Moreau's novel Nathalie, ou La Punition is stylish and violent and features a powerhouse performance from Girardot as a woman who has passed the breaking point.

Special Features and Technical Specs:

  • NEWLY RECORDED audio commentaries by Walter Chaw and Travis Woods
  • Archival video interviews
  • Trailers
  • Image galleries
  • Booklet with a new essay by Barry Forshaw
  • Limited edition slipcover with exclusive, newly commissioned front and back artwork
  • Reversible sleeve featuring legacy and newly commissioned artwork
Release Details

Movie Release Year: 1982
Tech Specs & Release Details

Specs: Booklet with a new essay by Barry Forshaw
Video Resolution/Codec: 1080p/MPEG-4 AVC
Aspect Ratio(s): TBA
Audio Formats: TBA
Subtitles/Captions: English