Coup de torchon

Coup de torchon

DVD - 2001 | French
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After Lucien Cordier, the only police officer in a small African village, is ridiculed by the local pimp, cheated on by his wife, and suffers his mistresses being beaten, he begins to get rid of the evil ones in his life.

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r
rui89x
Nov 18, 2017

Wickedly funny, black humor film based on Jim Thompson's noir novel, Pop. 1280. Cinematic licence sets the film in 1940s Senegal, a French colony. A post-colonial reading of the novel. Very well done. Worth watching if you enjoy absurdist comedy like Beckett, Camus, Ionesco, et al.

v
voisjoe1_0
Sep 14, 2016

This film, inspired by the great Jim Thompson novel, “Pop. 1280,” instead of being about crime in the Southwestern US circa 1910, was transferred to a film about French colonial Africa in the 1930’s. Jim Thompson, who was brought up among real criminals, drug dealers and drug addicts, was a down and out alcoholic himself. So his expertise was realistic crime, not crime as written by Hollywood. Thompson’s themes were so “dark” that none of the major publishing firms dared to publish his novels (sorta a crime writing black list). I do not pretend to understand everything that was going on in “Coup de Torchon,” but as the title indicates, the very “dark” protagonist wipes the slate clean (by killing off anybody that ever offended him).

j
jimg2000
Mar 03, 2016

I read Pop. 1280 about a year ago and had my eyes on this film since. Amazed at how the story was magically transformed and brought to life by the French! My only complaint was not the nudity and racial slurs but excessive (lost in translation?) profanity which was tame in the book. Anyway, there are several fitting descriptions of this complex film but none better than from the DVD cover: "An inspired rendering of Jim Thompson’s pulp novel Pop. 1280, Bertrand Tavernier’s Coup de torchon (Clean Slate) deftly transplants the story of an inept police chief turned heartless killer and his scrappy mistress from the American South to French West Africa. Featuring pitch-perfect performances by Philippe Noiret and Isabelle Huppert, this striking neo-noir straddles the line between violence and lyricism with dark humor and visual elegance. perfectly captured by Criterion's glorious new anamorphic transfer."

Froster Nov 29, 2014

This is wildly clever, quirky, charming, and fun until Tavernier piles far too much meaning on top of it. What starts out as "revenge of the nebbish" turns into "avenging angel of human venality". How very Gallic. However, it's full of great performances, beginning with Noiret and Huppert, and Audran actually looks like she's having FUN. (THAT'S rare). Worth a look.

a
AQUILEA777
Dec 18, 2013

Very good though dangerous.

m
mahallett
Oct 21, 2013

very funny.

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j
jimg2000
Mar 03, 2016

Lots of good quotes can be found from IMDb as this one:

[Rose realizes she is wanted for murder]
Rose: You have to help me. I can't take it. What can I do?
Lucien Cordier: How the hell do I know? Any idiot can see they were shot with your gun.
Rose: But that's horrible!
Lucien Cordier: At first it is horrible. But then you start to think about starving kids, little girls sold into slavery, women whose sex is sewn up... God created murder out of pure kindness. Murder is nothing compared to those horrors.

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