RARA-AVIS: Malet and Burma again

From: E.Borgers ( webeurop@yahoo.fr)
Date: 18 Jan 2006

Kevin said about Leo Malet and his Nestor Burma novels :
>Any English readers wanting to see what the fuss is about should check
out Jacques Tardi's masterful >graphic novel adaptations (in English), which may be easier to track down (and more fun to read) than >the handful of straight text English translations of the novels Pan released in the late eighties.

Speaking of Leo Malet, I agree with Kevin : Tardis graphic novels are a good introduction to Malets fiction.

Last WE, as a matter of fact, I could watch in very good conditions a pristine copy of one of the 3 films based on Malets PI Nestor Burma novels. The first time I saw it, years back, it was a pitiful copy (with a kind of pan & scan treatment and washed colors) and it gave me a bad impression. Now with the recent session I could really enjoy that film: LA NUIT DE SAINT-GERMAIN-DES-PRɓ (1977) film by Bob Swain, based on the novel with the same title (=The Night of Saint Germain des Pr鳩. Michel Galabru is Burma, and is really not acting in a tempo that evokes rightly the Burma from the novels, but strangely enough, even with this, this movie is very close to the ambiance and universe of Malets novels. So even with the main character not well rendered, the director could recreate something of value. I rarely experienced such a thing, but must admit I finally liked this film.

Anyway, its miles above the scam that was another Burma movie: NESTOR BURMA, DɔECTIVE DE CHOC (1982)- (Nestor Burma, Shock Detective) made by Jean-Luc Miesh. And a total shame. Even Michel Serrault playing Burma is making therein something grotesquely out of proportion, misplaced and childish compared to the original character. Just avoid that movie. It pretended to be based on : Mas-tu vu en cadavre? (= Did You See Me as a Corpse ? ).

The third movie, based on the first Burma novel, is: 120 RUE DE LA GARE
(1946). I never saw it (saw only a few sequences from it) so I cannot comment. Ive heard that complete copies or copies in fair state of conservation are rare to find. Which explains probably why I could never see it. The novel had the same title (= 120 Station Street).

To be remembered: there was also a long series of Burmas adventures in films made for French TV, starting in 1991, with Guy Marchand as Burma It is slightly modernized, but the quality was very fluctuating. A lot of the episodes are just average to bad, with some exceptions. The best are from the season where each film starts by a filming of Paris at night as background for the entry credits.

E.Borgers HARD-BOILED MYSTERIES http://www.geocities.com/Athens/6384 POLAR NOIR http://www.geocities.com/polarnoir

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 18 Jan 2006 EST