RARA-AVIS: Jos頇iovanni died

From: Tapani Bagge ( tapani.bagge@aina.fi)
Date: 29 Apr 2004

French crime writer and film director Jos頇iovanni died on Sunday. He was 80 years old and lived in Switzerland. I think his first book, Le Trou (The Break), is the only one translated in English. Jacques Becker, Claude Sautet and Jean-Pierre Melville directed excellent movies from Giovanni's novels (Le Trou, Classe tous risques and Le Deuxi譥 Souffle). Prison novel Le Trou (1959) was based on Giovanni's own experiences: he was a criminal who was sentenced to death but was later pardoned. A few of his novels has been translated in Finnish, and I think he's one of the best in depicting criminals as they are: folks like us, but a little different. His style is both hard-boiled and noir and his main themes are loyalty and betrayal. His own films are not too bad, either. Most of them he based on his own books, and he used actors like Lino Ventura, Jean Gabin, Belmondo and Delon. He also scripted some notable movies, like The Sicilian Clan (1971).

Tapani Bagge

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