September 13th, 2010

Claude Chabrol RIP

Claude Chabrol made nearly 60 films- and that's not counting his television work. The French revere their film makers- and won't let them go into retirement. Chabrol's last movie came out last year. His surviving contemporaries- members of that great generation that remade world cinema- Godard, Resnais, Varda, Rivette- are all still working.

I've seen 7 of those 60 films. To have the leisure and space to sit down and watch them all- from Le Beau Serge(1958) to Bellamy (2009) would be heavenly. His films are very Gallic, very cold and contemptuous- and frequently based on English detective novels. He is lazily tagged as the French Hitchcock, but his atmospheres are quite different and he is more interested than Hitchcock ever was in the evisceration of the bourgeoisie- otherwise known as social realism.  The chatter of the boulevards has it that his best work was done in the 60s and 70s- after which he rather eased up on the pedals- but the chatter of the boulelvards is often wrong. My favourite Chabrol is Les Noces Rouges (1973) with Michel Piccoli and Stephane Audran as a couple of provincial blockheads in the grip of l'amour fou.


Yesterday I hung clothes out on the line- and by evening they were very nearly dry. I doubt if that will happen again this year. When we drive out I notice brown and yellow patches among the trees. Yesterday evening I went upstairs and fetched myself a body warmer for the first time in months; I'm wearing it again today.