Thursday, May 19, 2011

I watched a great film this past weekend. "Le Trou" is French for "the Hole" and it is a flick released in 1960 about a prison escape attempt. A group of four prisoners in a crowded French prison are presented with a new cellmate, a young pretty boy named Gaspard. After talking with him to find out what he is in for, the group decides to inform him of their upcoming escape attempt and incorporate Gaspard into their plan. Things follow from there and the movie is a riveting piece of work, the last film of influential French director Jacques Becker. The tension is constant, the camaraderie of the cast palpable and the lingering scenes of the inmates chip-chip-chipping their way through the floor are riveting. I found a more descriptive review of the movie here. I personally just love the setting of the cell, the way the prisoners of 1947 France – at least in the movie - are allowed way more freedom than modern-day, dog-kennel-with-tasers American prisons. The cellmates smoke, store food and personal effects in a cupboard and rap with the guards as if they were on equal par. In one scene, the cellblock chief even allows the men to exact their revenge on some thievin’ plumbers who steal their smokes. Also, the movie just aches with the human cleverness of the men adapting to living in a confined environment. The inmates have secret ways of passing messages and goods and I am sure methods of existence in jail have been similar for the last 1,000 years at least.

The best movie I’ve seen in awhile; I highly recommend

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