Anima Mundi (2004) [source]
posted by tonto–kidd
Pop. 1280 is a novel by Jim Thompson (1906 – 1977) first published in 1964. It is a particularly bleak species of American hard-boiled crime fiction, but exhibits experimental flourishes that align it with literary (as opposed to genre) fiction, as well as occasional surrealist episodes. The unreliable narrator as a story-telling device, of which Thompson was particulary fond, is exemplary in this novel.
Pop. 1280 was made into the French film, Coup de Torchon by Bertrand Tavernier in 1981. In that film, Lucien Cordier (Philippe Noiret) is an ineffectual local constable (see bumbling authority figures in comedy) with a cheating wife and laughable job. He accepts condecension from his superiors and his wife with good humor, as his antisocial personality allows him to tolerate such abuse. However, he soon realizes that he can use his position to gain vengeance with impunity, and he starts to kill everyone who has regarded him as a fool. After numerous trysts and murders, his pathology catches up with him in the film’s climax.