Sunday, September 12, 2010

Claude Chabrol

One of the great masters of French Cinema and one of my favorite French directors passed away today and we will miss him very much as he was still active directing movies and TV shows.

His last movie is 2009 Bellamy with great Gérard Depardieu that haven't seen and the one before is great La fille coupée en deux (The Girl Cut in Two) from 2008 that has a review in this blog as well as La Fleur du Mal (The Flower of Evil), but I have seen many more films of his extensive filmography.

One of the most recent honors that I recall was given to him by the 32nd Moscow International Film Festival who did a very comprehensive retrospective of his work.

To honor him I need to share with you some key data about his very successful career and here are some notes that I extracted from MUBI.

He was contemporary of Rohmer, Truffaut, Godard, Rivette among many others that left a strong milestone in French Cinema when they attempted to turn topsy-turvy the entire cinematic value system. That the theories of authorship remain today a basic (albeit modified and continuously examined) premise certainly indicates the success of their endeavor.

Derry suggests dividing the oeuvre into "five semi-discrete periods: 1) the early personal films, beginning with Le beau Serge in 1958 and continuing through Landru in 1962; 2) the commercial assignments, beginning with The Tiger Likes Fresh Blood in 1964 and continuing through The Road to Corinth in 1967; 3) the mature cycle of masterpieces, beginning with Les biches in 1968 and continuing through Wedding in Blood in 1973, almost all starring his wife Stéphane Audran, and produced by André Génovès; 4) the more diverse (and uneven) accumulations of films from 1974 to the mid-1980s which have tended neither to garner automatic international release nor to feature Audran in a central role; and 5) the more recent films of higher quality, if sometimes uneven still, produced in the 1980s and 1990s by Marin Karmitz's company MK2 and including a new set of regular collaborators."

I certainly will miss him, but his body of work not only will live forever but will be my pleasure to revisit one and many times until I die.

Rest in peace Claude Chabrol.

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