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"Père of the Nouvelle Vague, interpreter of Cocteau, master of the crime/gangster genre, Jean-Pierre Melville (1917-1973) remained always separate and himself. After serving in the French army and then the Resistance during WWII (when J-P Grumbach took his favorite author’s name for his own nom de guerre), he redefined “independent” with his self-financed outside-the-industry adaptations, moving gradually to those austere, if star-studded, evocations of a fantasy underworld that his surname evokes." - Film Forum