Bruno Reidal, Memories of Murder, Seven…a cinematic journey to the edge of Evil

Burnt and stripped, Bruno Reidal, Vincent Le Port’s film about the confessions of a young seminarian who murdered a child, casts doubt on the desire to kill. Five other films take us into the quicksands of criminal psychology.

In general, the movie’s death instinct is reserved for adults. audacity Bruno Rydal, Vincent Le Port’s first feature film: showing that he has existed since childhood… The 1uh September 1905 Bruno Reidal, a 17-year-old teenager, also a seminarian, is arrested (but it is he who surrenders to the police) for the murder of a child … To understand the reasons – but how could we? – asks him to tell his story a well-known criminologist of that time. On a letter…

We remember—at least moviegoers—another young criminal whose diary, written in 1835 and rediscovered more than a century later by the philosopher Michel Foucault, inspired René Alliot to his greatest successes. : I, Pierre Riviere, who killed my mother, my sister and my brother… (1976). Being different from him was one of Vincent Le Port’s biggest concerns: “What’s the point of doing another one Pierre Riviere, while the former is so successful. And then, doing research, starting to write, I realized that the films would be as different from each other as Bruno is different from Pierre. »

In fact, Pierre Riviere, represented by René Alliot, even if he does not suspect it, is a political assassin. Social. Social. Bruno Reidal by Vincent Le Port is carnal and spiritual. And under the ardent and refined production of the young director, he becomes the hero of Robert Bresson. Faith and sex burn him. And it is precisely the obsession with his mediocrity in the face of the radiant beauty of other people, in particular some boys, that he must erase with the help of murder. Evil walks in him, which he tries to restrain until it overwhelms him …

How did the movie portray Evil? A little review with some infamous movies…

The Boston Strangler by Richard Fleischer (1968)

The Boston Strangler by Richard Fleischer (1968). Behind the killer woman is an ordinary American.

20th century fox

Faced with this woman killer, first older and then much younger, the entire police force thinks of a recidivist, sexually possessed: so they scour the Boston slums of the 1960s and, to quickly move on to a display of big city perversions, Richard Fleischer uses – cleverly, unlike many other split screen : Split screen.

But no… the killer (Albert DeSalvo really existed) turns out to be just as American as everyone else: a bad husband, maybe, but an exemplary family man. In order to arouse, if not sympathy, then at least identification, the director chooses the image of an ideal son-in-law, a handsome boy par excellence: Tony Curtis … The only obstacle: the killer refuses to admit his crimes. Therefore, the government-appointed lawyer (Henry Fonda) will be faced with the question of making him, through psychoanalysis, realize the evil hidden in him. But Richard Fleischer’s thesis is obvious: crime can be born in each of us.

“American Psycho” Mary Harron (2000)

“American Psycho” by Mary Harron (2000). Serial Killer Narcissus (Christian Bale).

Musa Productions

In Bret Easton Ellis, the serial killer, unlike Albert DeSalvo, comes forward with his crimes. Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) kills vagrants and women (unless he’s fantasizing about all those murders…) to prove to himself that he’s super rich, super handsome, and super masculine, like the 1980s yuppie generation: the Reagan babies. But when he finally confesses to this series of massacres, no one believes him, not even his lawyer, who also continues to confuse him with other clients. Because, he suddenly realizes, someone who considers himself unique is interchangeable…

In this creepy fantasy (sometimes underrated and overrated), the director mockingly draws this idiot obsessed with his emollients, business cards, and posh restaurant reservations: “How can you shake my hand and I shake yours, she makes him say You may think that we are the same. But no. I’m just a shadow, an illusion. I just don’t…”

“Seven”, David Fincher (1995)

“Seven” by David Fincher (1995). Kevin Spacey as the Devilish Vigilante.

Cinema New Line

Patrick Bateman boasted. “John Doe” (Mr. X) from Seven, who claims that he was the one who exterminated all the Patrick Batemans in this misguided world, is hiding. We’ll only see him for about ten minutes (as Kevin Spacey), but his presence hovers over this dark and rainy city (save for the denouement), where, like a biblical avenger, he recreates, through his heinous murders, the Seven Deadly Sins.

Eradicate evil with evil: “When you want to be heard” John Doe said you must act with a hammer: this is the only way to keep their attention. » The theory is getting more and more relevant, alas… As an answer – and philosophy – the frustrated old cop played by Morgan Freeman can only counter this remark borrowed from Ernest Hemingway: “The world is a beautiful place worth fighting for: I agree with the second part of the sentence…”

Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, Nuri Bilge Ceylan (2011)

“Once Upon a Time in Anatolia” by Nuri Bilge Ceylan (2011).


There is a killer, but he is not an American-style avenger. And his victim disappeared… In this epic film, and one intimate, moral, spiritual one, the cop, the doctor, the prosecutor – delighted that we take him for a movie star – are looking for a corpse whose whereabouts are unknown. no one knows, not even the one who killed him.

All landscapes of Anatolia are the same, flat and endless. And when it is found, nothing is decided, since evil for Nuri Bilge Ceylan is scattered and omnipresent. It can only be overcome – and this is a magical moment – the appearance of a young girl who seems to suddenly spread grace, in every sense of the word, among these unprincipled men. To the point that the killer burst into tears …

“Memories of Murder” Bong Joon-ho (2003)

“Memories of Murder” Bong Joon Ho (2003). The killer who slipped through the fingers of justice has soft hands.

CJ Entertainment: Sidus Pictures

In everyone, from Richard Fleischer to Nuri Bilge Ceylan, sooner or later a monster appears. We see it. We feel sorry for him. We are afraid of it. Just not in Bong Joon Ho. Murders are rampant in this small 1980s South Korean town, with no trace left by the killer. I have no idea. Not a single witness, except for a terrified survivor who remembers only one detail: the man had soft hands…

The situation drives a brutal village cop (Song Kang-ho) and his more “civilized” Seoul counterpart (Kim Sang-kyung) crazy: all their suspects confess, but they are never good… How to defeat the invisible, invincible, senseless evil? As a reminder, Hwaseong’s killer will be identified almost by accident in October 2019. He confesses to ten murders that Bong Joon Ho told about, as well as several others that we did not suspect him of…

R Bruno Rydal, Vincent LePort. In theaters.

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