I saw Jean-Pierre Melville's 'Army of Shadows' at Film Forum in the summer of 2015, and I mostly recall the plot. It is about the French Resistance, and explores the emotional and physical tolls of espionage. But what struck me most about the film - and still resonates with me today - is the quality of the imagery and the filmmaking. I saw the trailer for the movie while I was at Film Forum for a different screening, and found it to be extraordinarily well-done and intriguing. I saw the film the with no other context other than the trailer, and was pleasantly surprised with my enjoyment.
The imagery in the film is simultaneously powerful and understated - never showy, but always memorable. I often find it difficult to describe to people the aesthetic that draws me to certain cinematography, so I am glad I can share this film as a close representation of my visual taste.
If you're in New York City, Film Form is running a retrospective of Melville's work through May 11th. I have only seen this one film from Melville - I am excited to see more. And I'll definitely revisit 'Army of Shadows.'