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A Passion for Melville

“I think your first film should be made with your own blood.”

Jean-Pierre Melville

Active member of the French resistance and soldier during World War II, the young Jean-Pierre Grumbach adopted the codename “Melville” as a tribute to his favorite American novelist, Herman Melville. Once war was over, General de Gaulle, himself, decorated him for ‘acts of war’. Upon his

return to civilian life, faithful to the path he had followed

since childhood, Jean-Pierre became Melville, a filmmaker

about to usher in a new style to French cinema.

Jean-Pierre Melville’s work was deeply rooted in the American cinema of the 30’s and 40’s that strongly impacted his youth. Melville influenced a whole generation of European, American and Asian filmmakers, inspired by his body of work and his sense of aesthetics, that they eagerly and still reference. Melville’s cinema was and remains more than ever

a source of inspiration for generations of aspiring

filmmakers around the world.

Known as the “Father of the Nouvelle Vague”, the man considered “the most American of French filmmakers” reinvented the film noir genre, adding his very own control

of time management and extended silences on the screen. Melville created a powerful universe of men, friendship, loyalty, and treason; a cinema in which love and women could only attempt to step into.

An adept of the night, jazz, cats, and a certain Paris… quite secretive in his own way, a unique storyteller, Jean-Pierre Melville aspired to be a witness of his times.

Melville was one of the three french film makers, after Méliès and Pagnol to build his own studio.


In the scope of Jean-Pierre Melville’s centennial anniversary, at a time when his international appeal remains unequivocal, Laurent Grousset and Remy Grumbach, his nephews and guardians of his legacy, launched the Jean-Pierre Melville Foundation 

for the preservation of genre cinema.


An American foundation of French initiative with international aspirations, the Jean-Pierre Melville Foundation is a non-profit organization based in

Los Angeles, California. It is currently awaiting its

501(c)(3) for contributions to be tax deductible

to the fullest extent allowed by the law.


 The Jean-Pierre Melville Foundation




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