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1. Mesrine-Part I (2008) /Elements The honing of war—torture in Algeria(Lombroso: soldiers, shepherds and priests)/1959-1961 From the war-zone to the.

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Presentation on theme: "1. Mesrine-Part I (2008) /Elements The honing of war—torture in Algeria(Lombroso: soldiers, shepherds and priests)/1959-1961 From the war-zone to the."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Mesrine-Part I (2008) /Elements The honing of war—torture in Algeria(Lombroso: soldiers, shepherds and priests)/1959-1961 From the war-zone to the “civilized”-zone: JOB “La dentelle”…Petite bourgeoisie, “Bel avenir” Place Pigalle, Moulin Rouge –Paris’ Red District The Lombrosian tandem: Delinquent/prostitute ~ “Moral insanity” 2

3 Mesrine-Part I/Elements Gambles his pay away Gambling/narcotics/prostitution=remit of the low-tenacity-violent quadrant of Veblen’s diagram Gambling: belief in luck, animism, erotic dissipation “Boulot au noir”: low-tenacity, hire me  criminal subculture, established network 3

4 Mesrine-Part I/Elements Starts at the bottom: burglaries He is part of “Guido”’s (G. Depardieu) team: local boss of a wider constellation, part of the MOB…. Itself with very solid political ties, OAS (Organisation de l'armée secrète/ old school imperialists) vs. General C. De GaulleOrganisation de l'armée secrète “Boulot au noir”: low-tenacity, hire me  criminal subculture, established network (“part” of the system…) 4

5 Mesrine-Part I/Elements Hierarchy is clear from the outset: Guido’s “wisdom”: if you’re lucky you’ll end up with “this” (mangy bar)… Toward a finer psycho-sociological portrait of Mesrine: low-tenacity, violent, macho but NOT GREEDY…One stock character of the underworld that he hates, which? The pimp… Gruesome execution, tinged with racism “arabe”… Unlike most mobsters he is not ATTACHED to life, the accumulation of money being the symbol of such attachment 5

6 Mesrine-Part I/Elements Breaks with the exigencies of a respectable milieu bourgeois Does not go to work—no “slave to the alarm- clock” Insults his father, gives in to his wanderlust (Lombrosian trait)—can’t stand still WOMEN –eroticism, all kinds: from the prostitute, the easy ones, the demur type, anything he can seduce (dissipation) 6

7 Mesrine-Part I/Elements LOVE – Janou (Jeanne Schneider), 1966-69 – Joyce, 1970-1973 – Sylvia Jeanjacquot, 1978-1979 Career: from burglary to hold-ups (du casse au braquage) Cycle: 1962 in prison, caught— Tries to go clean, Tabacoff’s workshop, artistic disposition (erotic types knack for art) Laid off, immediate relapse 7

8 Mesrine-Part I/Elements Violent reaction against his first wife, Sofia: “…I will always choose my friends”… Psychopathy Canada: result of his emergeing RENEGADE, ANARCHISTIC bent Gang subculture (Ohlin, Kubrin): from “criminal” to “conflict” subculture—Bandit plays solo/no structure Yearning for HEROISM in a world that has left no space for the expression thereof 8

9 Mesrine-Part I/Elements POLITICS/ Crime never happens in a vacuum: – FLQ: Jean-Paul Mercier – In prison meets Paul Rose (FLQ, Laporte) And they all have something in common… The kidnap fails, and there is the Le Bouthillier murder case, linked to his trajectory, which will never be solved… Apprehended in Arizona, extradited to Montreal, the myth takes shape, the media pounce on it…. 9

10 Mesrine-Part I/Elements USC: the infamous Unité spéciale de correction, St Vincent de Paul, Laval Lo and behold Mercier is there too Escape was sensational… But the single (double)-handed enterprise to free all the prisoners was nothing short of legendary An exploit of pure heroism cherished by ALL [incarcerated] criminals, from low-class delinquents to terrorists 10

11 Mesrine-Part I/Elements “On passe à la télé, Jean-Paul…la GLOIRE, la gloire…” Heroism, to be remembered Now the icon is assembled: PUBLIC ENEMY #1 The media, us, have a natural hunger for such types… Interesting scene: the break-up with Janou occurs in the [sheltering] office of a LAWYER, Insulating conduit between the two worlds… 11

12 Mesrine-Part I/Elements Which two worlds? The upper and the lower barbarous ones, divided by the tenacity-divide… Then, he and Mercier kill the two rangers and pass the point of no return… To Janou: “No one gets me killed until I decide it to be so” Dehors ou mort(s)… Embrace with DEATH/end of part I 12

13 Mesrine-Part I/Elements 1970-1973: roves –from the USA to Venezuela, with Mercier and his girlfriend Eventually returns to Paris Throughout this interlude Possibly shielded by the remnants of the former OAS network All in all this extraordinary exile had lasted 6 years—long time to earn the mob’s forgiveness 1972 caught; pulls off another pehenomenal escape from the courthouse of Compiègne with the help of his new associate, Michel Ardouin (highlight of part II) 13

14 Mesrine-Part I/Elements 14 But that only buys him 4 months of freedom Meanwhile the show thickens: enter Commissaire Broussard, the SUPERCOP The natural enemy of Public Enemy #1 Both tough, both ambitious, vain—respectful of each other’s manhood A total show The paper are having a ball with this, of course

15 Mesrine-Part I/Elements 15 Broussard apprehends him in 9/1973 And M. ends up at La Santé, Paris’ High- security penitentiary/sentenced to 20 years In essence it is over—the jig is up But then, possibly to cause an embarrassment to the presidency of Giscard d’Estaing 3/1978: His lawyer (most likely) slips a pair of guns in the prison so that Mesrine may improvise one more, his last, evasion…

16 1978-1979: the final act Variety of shenanigans, robberies, obscure political dealings But mostly an absurd circus of publicity, fomented by the media, which interview him in clandestine fashion, even though he is a supposedly super-dangerous fugitive The obvious finale: the grand ambush (possibly orchestrated by pro-Giscardian forces to put an end to the charade) at the Porte de ClignancourtPorte de Clignancourt Mesrine-Part I/Elements 16

17 “The Bandit” Spiritual drift: Peaceable vs. Barbarous Tenacity: Low vs. High This yields 4 categories: – PLoT: The Dropout – PHiT: “The Engineer” – BLoT: The Low-Class delinquent/Don – BHiT: The politician/CEO/Techno-General And Mesrine? 17

18 “The Bandit” Spiritual drift: Mixed, with far weightier leaning toward violence, “un fauve” (Sylvia) Tenacity: Decidedly low BUT intelligent, artistic (fine writer, illustrator and cook), dissipative, erotic, HEROIC (code of honor)…AND… DEATH-PRONE The third dimension  …Greedy vs. Death- Prone 18

19 “The Bandit” So may redefine our 4 initial categories: – Low-Class Delinquent? – BloT/G – CEO? – BHiT/G – The Engineer? – PhiT/G – The Dropout? – PloT/G And 4 new categories… 19

20 “The Bandit” Consider: – PloT/D: – The terrorist (righteous) – BHiT/D – The Condottiere (Mussolini, Hitler…) – PhiT/D – The Martyr – BloT/D: The BANDIT 20

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