Carlos Director: Olivier Assayas (2010) Call Number: DVD-V LD11-0386
Mesrine Director: Jean-François Richet (2008) Call Number: DVD-V LD11-0736
Image: Courtesy of Optimum Releasing
Based on the lives of Ilich Ramírez Sánchez (Carlos) and Jacques Mesrine, the films give an insight to both men’s lives filled with violence, wealth, egomania, abundance of lovers, radical politics, and finally capture.
Carlos is a TV miniseries that was also screened at 2010 Cannes Film Festival to raging reviews. As Rodriguez summarizes: “The term "epic" often gets bandied around to describe movies that don’t really fit the description. But Olivier Assayas’ Carlos is the real deal – a 51/2 hour narrative, with more than 100 speaking parts, in eight languages, covering two decades” (2010).
Mesrine is made up of two films: Mesrine: Part 1 - Death Instinct and Mesrine: Part 2 - Public Enemy #1. The first part has been a huge box-office success in its native France. Although Mesrine’s political aspirations are vague, the following quote summarizes the film. When an interviewer asks Mesrine why he is doing this, he replies: Because I don't like laws and I don't want to be a slave of the alarm clock my whole life. I don't want to spend my entire life dreaming. I don't want to always think how I have to work half a year just so I could buy something.
Both films also deserve attention for their male leads; Édgar Ramírez/Carlos (César Award for Most Promising Actor, 2011), and Vincent Cassel/Mesrine (César Award for Best Actor, 2009).
Rodriguez, Rene. “Carlos”. http://www.miami.com/. 16 Dec. 2010.
Image: Courtesy of Momentum Pictures