Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Crossover Movie: Alphaville
Lemmy Caution searches for his fellow secret agent from the Outlands, Henry Dickson. Both Dick Tracy and “Guy l'Éclair” have disappeared in Alphaville before Dickson. Lemmy Caution is an American detective appearing in mystery novels by Peter Cheyney. Here, he is played by Eddie Constantine, who also portrayed the character in several non-science fiction films. Henry Dickson’s name is a nod to pulp character Harry Dickson, who appeared in German, Dutch, Belgian, and French pulp magazines. Jean-Marc Lofficier’s “J.C. in Alphaville” (Tales of the Shadowmen Volume 6: Grand Guignol, Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficier, eds., Black Coat Press, 2010), which serves as a prequel to Alphaville, reveals that Henry is Harry’s son, and that both Henry and Lemmy were sent to Alphaville by Mr. Klamm and Herr Erlanger from Franz Kafka’s The Castle. “Guy l'Éclair" is the name by which Flash Gordon is known in France. Klamm and Erlanger must have also sent Gordon and Dick Tracy to Alphaville, although they presumably resurfaced soon after these events. Alphaville is my favorite film by Jean-Luc Godard, one of my favorite directors. I was lucky enough to be able to see it on the big screen a week ago today at the Gene Siskel Film Center here in Chicago.