Cinema: Robber Barren

The Thief of Paris. The outlaw has been an object of fascination for the French cinema from Pepe le Moko to La Guerre Est Finie. In Thief, the subject for study is Jean-Paul Belmondo, an impenitent housebreaker operating in the gleaming fin de siecle Paris of

Lautrec and Bonnard. A perverse Robin Hood, he takes from the rich and gives to the rich—in this case himself. But like his society-thief predecessors, Raffles and Arsene Lupin, he has more to him than simple avarice. As he rifles the treasures of a boarded-up town house, waves of Proustian memories flood his brain.

Raised as an...

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