A Judgment in Stone (1986) - News Poster


DVDs. Chabrol, Oliveira and More

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Le beau Serge

"The story of Les cousins could be straight out of one of the Balzac novels that the film's lead character Charles peruses at a second-hand bookshop," suggests Andrew Schenker in Slant: "Ambitious provincial comes to Paris and receives his moral education in the hotbed of corruption and/or decadence that characterizes life in the capital. In Claude Chabrol's film, his second directorial effort following his 1958 debut, Le beau Serge, the milieu in question is the debauched world of students, young women, and older hangers-on that the director delineates with superb specificity of detail and a virtuoso display of sickening verve." Criteron's presentation, he adds, "is a fitting testament to the late director's brilliance."

Criterion's also releasing Le beau Serge today and the essays by Terrence Rafferty that accompany each have been posted in Current. When Le beau Serge premiered out of competition in Cannes, notes Rafferty,
See full article at MUBI »

Claude Chabrol anatomised the French middle class with a twist of the scalpel

Peter Bradshaw on the French New Wave figure who out-Hitchcocked Hitchcock with his hypocrisy-exposing suspense thrillers

For 30 years after the death of Alfred Hitchcock, the French film-maker Claude Chabrol near single-handedly kept alive a genre that without him might have become a museum piece, like the musical or the western: the icily elegant suspense thriller. The existence of these tense dramas depended largely on a strict set of social codes, a strong sense of order and a buttoned-up bourgeois society within which the idea of crime is unthinkable.

Yet the genre's dramatic charge depends not merely on the chill of transgression, but on the realisation that with sufficient ruthlessness, or ingenuity, or social privilege, some crime or psychopathic outrage might be concealed and fester, unseen, for ever.

Perhaps it is telling that Hitchcock was an Englishman; Chabrol found something in French society that was highly congenial to the suspense genre,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

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