Cigarette smoke hovers above him like the morning fog after an early battle. A light grey fedora rests atop a stone gaze that pierces the air around him, searching for warriors that aren’t there. A tan trench coat is the armor, protecting an exterior exuding the particular cool that has befallen the French New Wave for almost a decade, cutting through celluloid with samurai precision. It’s the kind of cool that Akira Kurosawa encapsulated since Drunken Angel (1948) had shown the world that he wasn’t just katana’s and kimono’s, or the cool that Seijun Suzuki fires with a single jazz-note using a loaded gun in Tokyo Drifter (1966) just one year earlier. Genre is not necessarily the common ground where these films meet, but the roles portrayed by the gangsters that disappear amidst the urban battlegrounds. These aren’t men imitating gangsters, but gangsters becoming samurais, their one hand resting on the hilt of a gun that slices through the night with a piercing definitude.