Saturday, February 4, 2012

OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies

[Click for a larger, more 1955ish view.]

From Michel Hazanavicius, director of The Artist, OSS 117: Le Caire, nid d’espions [OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies] (2006) is a smart and funny secret-agent spoof, with beautiful and dangerous women, international villains, and brilliant cinematography and special effects. Jean Dujardin seems to be channeling Cary Grant and Sean Connery (out of character, he resembles neither). His OSS 117 is charming, dim, self-satisfied, yet remarkably capable. Bérénice Bejo’s Larmina though is much, much smarter. As with The Artist, cinematographer Guillaume Schiffman shows himself to be an ace at capturing older styles of moviemaking. I love the period-perfect color and cheap projected background in the scene above.

Speaking of Cary Grant, I wonder how many viewers will recognize the Grant–Randolph Scott element in the flashbacks to 117’s relationship with Jack Jefferson (Philippe Lefebvre).

[Jack and 117, hitting a ball back and forth. Click for a larger view.]

Related posts
The Artist (and typography)
EXchange names on screen (Cary Grant and Randolph Scott)
Jean Dujardin Sings (Elaine’s post on 117’s performance of “Bambino”)

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