WEIRDLAND: R.I.P. Claude Chabrol

Sunday, September 12, 2010

R.I.P. Claude Chabrol

R.I.P. Claude Chabrol
He'll keep alive in my dream cineland...

Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
Directed by: Claude Chabrol

In 19th century France, the daughter of a country squire, Emma, marries a country doctor, Charles Bovary(Jean-François Balmer). All to soon, Emma grows bored with her husband and looks elsewhere for romance first with a landowner, Rodolphe Boulanger(Christophe Malavoy), then with a law student, Léon Dupuis(Lucas Belvaux). Her extravagant tastes lead Emma to run up a huge debt. Determined to keep her folly from her husband, who still dotes on her, Madame Bovary turns to her former lovers for help...

Claude Chabrol's suspenseful and erotic story of two lesbian lovers--Frederique (Stephane Audran), a wealthy and elegant woman, and Why (Jaqueline Sassard), a young bohemian who earns a living making charcoal drawings on the sidewalks of Paris. Frederique, who has already seduced Why and dragged her off to a lovely St. Tropez villa, upsets the balance when she next seduces architect Paul (Jean-Louis Trintignant). Why loves them both and cannot bear the thought of being left behind when Frederique and Paul run off to Paris together. One of the few Chabrol films available on videotape (under the title BAD GIRLS), LES BICHES features the director's favorite lead actress, Audran (then his wife), in yet another situation of suspense that, while Hitchcockian at its root, is pure Chabrol. The setup is a familiar one--a love triangle--but Chabrol's delicate treatment and highly controlled direction make this one of his finest efforts.

Director/Writer: Claude Chabrol
Writer: Paul Gegauff
Cinematographer: Jean Rabier
Music: Pierre Jansen

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