Louis Malle’s 1958 debut may not be the greatest film ever made, but it’s one of my best movie memories. I spent the hot summer of 1994 in the pictures every day. I was working nights at the Granby at the time and I’d walk into town from Chorlton, buy a cold beer from the Cornerhouse bar, and put it up my sleeve. The nice man at reception used to give me a comp when circumstances were conducive, and on this occasion I found myself alone in Cinema 2 with my beer watching Maurice Ronet and Jeanne Moreau mess up a perfectly good murder plot while Miles Davis improvised languidly on the soundtrack.


It was that as much as anything else, I suppose. Along with the beer, the free ticket, the empty cinema, the hot weather, and the fact that…in the days before I became a film critic, and that particular novelty wore off…it was still light when the movie ended and I stepped outside.