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Claude Chabrol, 80, Pioneer French Noir Director, Dies

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#1 of 7 OFFLINE   Richard--W



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Posted September 12 2010 - 09:47 AM


Published: September 12, 2010

Claude Chabrol, the director and critic who helped give rise to the French New Wave and who went on to make a series of stylish, suspense-filled films like “Le Boucher” (“The Butcher”) and “La Femme Infidèle” (“The Unfaithful Wife”) that were often compared to those of Alfred Hitchcock, died Sunday in Paris. He was 80.
The death was announced by Christophe Girard, the chief cultural affairs official in Paris and confirmed by his press agent, Eva Simonet, who said he had been hospitalized for “severe anemia.” President Nicolas Sarkozy of France said on television that Mr. Chabrol “took the finesse of his social depictions from Balzac” and “his humor and vividness he got from Rabelais.”

Mr. Sarkozy added, “But he was most of all himself in his films, as in life, and I’m certain that everyone will miss him.”

Mr. Chabrol was a young film critic working for the magazine Les Cahiers du Cinema alongside François Truffaut, Jacques Rivette, Eric Rohmer and Jean-Luc Godard when a family inheritance allowed him to form his own production company. In 1956, he produced and wrote the screenplay for the short film “Le Coup de Berger,” which was directed by Mr. Rivette, then used his own money to finance “Le Beau Serge” (1957).


The rest is here:   http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/13/movies/13chabrol.html   I've been watching Claude Chabrol films my entire life.
How sad there won't be a new Chabrol film every year.
The French don't throw their artists under the bus when they get old, and Chabrol made some of his deepest, richest, most resonant noirs  in the last few years. He was a refined and sophisticated storyteller who respected the intelligence of his audience. His thrillers are emotionally gripping. I learned so much about writing and directing from studying his films.

Rest in peace, Claude Chabrol.


#2 of 7 OFFLINE   Richard--W



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Posted September 13 2010 - 04:29 AM

Geez, no Claude Chabrol fans here?

#3 of 7 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

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Posted September 13 2010 - 04:41 AM

Originally Posted by Richard--W 

Geez, no Claude Chabrol fans here?

I don't think there are many fans of non-English-language films, period. I know from my experience of reviewing subtitled films on disc that many of them don't post.


The last Chabrol film I saw was A Girl Cut in Two, and it didn't feel like a film by someone who was worn out. It had the snap you get when someone is still excited by what they're doing. I'm looking forward to Inspector Bellamy when it opens here next month, though it'll be sad watching it and knowing it's the last one.


The film I'd most like to revisit is one of which I still have vivid memories, although I haven't seen it in years: Wedding in Blood.

COMPLETE list of my disc reviews.       HTF Rules / 200920102011 Film Lists

#4 of 7 OFFLINE   Charles Smith

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Posted September 13 2010 - 06:02 AM

I hate to say I've seen only a couple of Chabrol films, and I don't have a good reason for that.  Everything I'm reading in the obits would indicate that I'd like his work very much, and I plan to change my ways going forward.

#5 of 7 OFFLINE   Richard--W



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Posted September 13 2010 - 08:02 AM

A Claude Charbrol film swims in the deep end of the noir pool, where it is very very deep indeed.   A shame there isn't more interest in foreign films here at HTF. American / English language films represent the narrowest experience and the most limited of perspectives. A kind of ego bubble in which every voice is the same.    
I find it interesting that Claude Chabrol's career was started by, and sustained with, private money. Private wealth freed him. He told the stories he wanted to tell in the way he wanted to tell them. Small pictures on a modest scale, but the longer you watch, the bigger they get in your mind. Technically, he was always a consummate professional. No studio committee or bond company judged the value of him, decided the merits of his film, imposed creative changes, or stopped financing on the advisability of the investment. If Chabrol had been dependent on the Horowitz organization, for example, he would have had no career at all. In the USA he would never have made a single film, and this rich legacy would not have happened. In France, Chabrol made films for over 50 years, and audiences all over the world turned out to see them. Vive la France.

#6 of 7 OFFLINE   Michael Elliott

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Posted September 13 2010 - 02:16 PM

I think most people just don't post in these type of threads.   Mario Gauci reviewed several of Chabrol films in this year's TRACK thread where foreign films are often discussed.

#7 of 7 OFFLINE   Mario Gauci

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Posted September 24 2010 - 04:36 AM

First of all, sorry for the late reply to this thread! Mike, thanks for putting in a good word about the Chabrol retrospective I recently undertook celebrating what turned out to be his last birthday. This week I revisited two more: LES BONNES FEMMES (1960), one of his own two personal favorites, and LANDRU aka BLUEBEARD (1963; of which I finally managed to acquire the full-length, French-language version - having only been familiar with it via a shortened, Italian-dubbed edition). I did not write reviews of either, having proposed a tribute essay on Chabrol to a local paper which is yet to be published. To get an inkling of how these foreign-language film-makers are treated by the average public is the fact that my twin brother and I submitted a 3,600-word article but the editor of the paper asked the man we contacted about it (a renowned local actor/cultural personality who also appeared in a few international productions partly filmed over here, notably MIDNIGHT EXPRESS [1978]) to cut it down to a mere 700 words!! Following this, we put a couple of offers overseas - to a Chabrol acquaintance and the editor of a long-standing British periodical - to have it published in its entirety regardless. We're keeping our fingers crossed! Having sat at a Press Conference promoting his current offering (the reasonably representative THE BRIDESMAID) and acquired his autograph during the 61st Venice Film Festival in 2004, we thought that was the least we could do for someone who not only gave so much to the medium (keep in mind, he began as a critic with the influential "Cahiers Du Cinema" and co-wrote with Eric Rohmer - who also died earlier this year! - the first analytical study on Hitchcock's work) but maintained a remarkable consistency over a 50-year period.

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