The Overlook: The fogbound mystery that predicted film noir, fascism, and the French New Wave

In The Overlook, A.V. Club film critic Ignatiy Vishnevetsky examines the misfits, underappreciated gems, and underseen classics of film history.

“The result was obviously a rather incoherent film.”
—Jean Renoir, Cahiers Du Cinema (May 1964)

On the outskirts of Paris, the body of a Jewish diamond merchant is found in a car parked in the wrong garage. The suspects are a bourgeois insurance salesman, a mysterious Dane with one eye, and the owner of the local filling station, all neighbors at an isolated crossroads. The famed detective Jules Maigret arrives from the city to investigate. He goes to the decrepit mansion that the Dane shares with his sister, a child-like proto-femme fatale with an unplaceable gaze. Alone with her in the first floor den, the middle-aged detective wanders the room with the innocent look of a visiting older relative. His first question: “Do you smoke much?” And then: “Do …

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