|A difference in the sense of women between Melville and some of those American "tough-guys"-- The "tough guys" are depicted as denying their "need" or desire for women, but they do have these impulses and in the end, they sentimentalize them. The "tough-guy" may abuse, but sentimentalizes in the end, and usually also self-denies.
The scene in BLFlambeur in which Bob briefly visits his mother's house speaks to the the way in which Melvilles guys are different from the "tough-guys." He stops there, we see an old woman sweeping. That is what he has deserted. There's a sense that Bob acknowledges her and his origins, her hard work perhaps, but he's in another world now. He gets in his car and moves on.. It's clean, and the scene suggests neither abuse or sentimentality.
Yes, that DT's scene in Cercle Rouge is fantastic, as are so many other incredibly specific details. I saw CR at the FF, and I liked it a lot, but not as much as BLFlambeur, Le Doulos or Le Samourai.
I think that in Le Samourai, Melville comes closest to no dialogue; I remember long stretches of just "ambient" sounds. When I think of the film, I see a man (Alain Delon) walking through his everyday life, except that he happens to be a paid assassin.
I don't know if Melville saw or admired Japanese film, but there are scenes in LS that blend a western expression of Samurai with what I think is a kind of existentialist philosophical core. The scene in which Delon sits on his bed (I think?!)---we see and hear a fly in his room, for what feels like many real minutes. We see and feel his attention, his inattention, the summation of what he does. But it's not a waiting on prey--I don't remember Delon killing the fly. It's a comment on Delon's situation. Delon and the fly just exist in the same universe.
That's something else great about Melville: He never spells everything out.