Saturday, June 6, 2009

L'homme pressé (1977)

L'homme pressé or The Hurried Man is Pierre Niox, an art collector who determines to have the most beautiful objects available. Alain Delon plays Niox and in my opinion this is one of the best works he has ever done. Many people (including director Edouard Molinaro) said that in real life, Delon is like Niox, always tries to do several jobs at the same time. In Pierre Niox, there is so much energy and he is so full of life that he is almost crazy. In the movie, Delon's eyes are often like the crazy character's he portrays in Le Gang.

At the beginning of the movie, Niox uses a helicopter to save time so he can arrive on time to buy a beautiful big house. He is always in a hurry: his proposal of marriage, wedding (although not showed on the movie, but I'm sure of it), and honeymoon are done in a short time. All decorators he has called for his new apartment give up because he wants it to be finished too soon. The most crazy thing is when he tells his wife that 9 months are too long, so he wants their baby to be delivered after 7 months. When it comes to art, money is not important for him. He re-buries a beautiful Roman ruin because he doesn't want to be disturbed. There is one object of art which Niox wants so much: a beautiful Greek vase from the 6th century.

One life is not enough for Pierre Niox. 24 hours a day is not enough. He wants to conquer the time, but in the end, he has to surrender to death. Delon plays the death scene wonderfully. He sits in a restaurant, holds the receiver of the telephone, and suddenly has a cardiac arrest. He doesn't touch the chest, but keeps holding the receiver, stops breathing, his eyes dilate, and falls onto the floor. This and the death scene in La Veuve Couderc are my favourite.

Last year I saw the newer version with Anthony Delon as Pierre Niox. One scene I liked, was when he and his friends were in a restaurant and as he thought the waiters were not fast enough, he got up and served the bunch himself.

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