Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Monday, 6 February 2017

C for Chabrol ....


My movie buff pal Martin has covered Chabrol's 1968 LA FEMME INFIDELE in his Facebook "Auteurist History of Cinema" feature, under 'C' - which makes me want to see it again, Here is my own 2012 review:
Also to be seen now, goodness knows when, are two Claude Chabrol box sets, 14 films in all!, along with his LA CEREMONIE. We saw a lot of Chabrols back in the late '60s and into the '70s, when he was doing that brilliant series of thrillers with his then wife, the marvellous Stephane Audran, particularly LE BOUCHER and LA FEMME INFIDELE and the brilliant THE BEAST MUST DIE etc. I liked that comic thriller in bright Greek sunlight LE ROUTE DE CORINTH (with Seberg and Ronet), Romy Schneider and Steiger in INNOCENTS WITH DIRTY HANDS (a valentine to Romy really), and that good Canadian one with Donald Sutherland BLOOD RELATIVES, so I really must find time to go back and see all those ones I missed like those with Isabelle Huppert (VIOLETTE NOZIEREMADAME BOVARY). Chabrol was nothing if not prolific, good though to see how highly regarded he is now. It was also fun getting his throwaway 1960s comedies like LES GODELUREAUX and the delicious 1965 romp MARIE CHANTEL V DR KHA, and also new editions of his first successes LE BEAU SERGE and LES COUSINS - as per reviews, Chabrol label. 

It is an absolute pleasure seeing LA FEMME INFIDELE again, that perfect late '60s setting, as the loving jealous husband Michel Bouquet begins to suspect the wife he loves so much is having an affair during her frequent trips to Paris. He soon discovers the truth and calls on the lover, Maurice Ronet. It is a brilliant scene as the men talk, the lover feeling awkward and guilty, the husband not knowing what to do - but a casual remark of the lover suddenly leads to blind anger ... as in PLEIN SOLEIL and LE PISCINE there is that sudden murderous attack, with Ronet once again the victim. The husband thinks he has covered his tracks, and the ideal domestic life with their son resumes - but of course, being Chabrol, those police and detectives keep calling and finding out more details. It is all impeccably done with those lovely circular camera movements as we circle the husband and wife as they both realise the trap they are in. She finds the evidence and cooly destroys it as she is now back in love with her husband. Stephane Audran is of course so divinely cool and poised and attractive here. Classic French cinema then.
What will Martin do next? D for Demy perhaps ?

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for the mention, pet. Yes I am working through the history of the movies, one director at a time. Skipping this week as we are off to Dublin. LA FEMME INFIDELE is my own personal favourite. You know, of course, there was an American remake with Gere and Diane Lane called UNFAITHFUL? Very good for what it was but not in the same class obviously.

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