Subway And Le Samourai: Film Analysis

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Public transportation is an essential part to any city, especially a city as large and spread out as Paris. The metro of Paris is not only a key method of transportation but it is a central element to the city. Living in a city comes with a certain level of anonymity that cannot be found in less populated areas. However, anonymity can be lost and through the element of surveillance, which is exactly what happens in the films Subway and Le Samourai. Transportation technology and surveillance technology come together to create a game between criminal and police force that ultimately ends with not who has the best technology but who controls it most effectively. In 1967, French filmmaker Jean-Pierre Melville co-wrote and directed a crime film …show more content…
The film centers around a character named Fred who is running from the police and takes refuge with a group of young men that live in the Parisian metro. Fred has stolen sensitive documents from a powerful member of French society at a party and the police department is desperate to retrieve these documents. Fred forms a romance with the wife of the man whom he stole the documents from. Héléna is what could be called a trophy wife and becomes quite rebellious towards her husband. Meanwhile, Héléna’s husband sends his henchman after Fred and uses his status to encourage the police force to also search vigorously for Fred. The police catch a few of Fred’s friends including the roller-skater and the florist. This is after Fred and the florist have robbed a train and gained some cash. Fred then uses the cash to highjack an underground concert where he replaces the hired band with his band of misfits. During the concert, a henchman finds and shoots Fred. The film ends with Héléna embracing her dying lover and he sings along to the band in the …show more content…
Throughout both films, there is never a failure due to technology not working the way that it is supposed to. Every error is human error, either due to ignorance or mistake. The police force has access to all the current technology, everything from spy software used to bug Jef’s apartment to the interactive maps of the metro where they fail to properly track the suspects. These maps play a large part in showing the failures of the detectives in both films. In Le Samourai, throughout the entire time that Jef is in the metro the police are stationed throughout the stations and on the different lines. Jef is riding in one of the carts when he stops the older lady undercover who is watching him. The camera then goes to a room in the police station where one of the lead detectives is watching the location of the different trains using the lights that light up when a train is at a station. Jef plays his game of jumping on and off different lines, all while another tail is following him. The young woman who so vigorously chews her bubble gum is far from subtle in her pursuit of Jef. Jef escapes her by jumping the border of the moving walkway. The police are supposed to be stationed at the exit of each metro station and yet he slips by. The police force is in communication with each-other the entire time, and yet all the technology in the world couldn’t fix their unstructured pursuit. After Jef

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