Posts Tagged ‘Claude Chabrol’

Les Cousins (1959) **** Out on DVD

Director: Claude Chabrol

Script: Paul Gégauff, Claude Chabrol

Cast: Jean-Claude Brialy, Gérard Blain, Juliette Mayniel, Stéphane Audran

112min     French drama with subtitles

Claude Chabrol was one of the main protagonists of the French New Wave and this was his second and claimed the Golden Bear at the Berlinale 1959.

The Cousins are chalk and cheese: Charles (Gérard Blain) embodies bourgeois values of fidelity and straightforwardness while Paul (Jean-Claude Brialy) is suave, urbane and an inveterate womaniser with feet of clay. The film also marked Stéphane Audran’s stage debut and she went on to marry Chabrol five years later (after a brief marriage to Jean-Louis Trintignant) and to star in most of his films.

Chabrol passes no moral judgement on his characters allowing their subtly-nuanced performances to lead us to our own conclusions in this parable which is as entertaining as it’s delightful to look at thanks to Henri Decaë’s sublime visuals and Paul Gégauff’s stylish script which he co-wrote with Chabrol.

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LES COUSINS IS NOW OUT ON BLU-RAY AND DVD COURTESY OF EUREKA’S MASTERS OF CINEMA SERIES AND FULLY RESTORED  BY GAUMONT PICTURES.

 

Le Beau Serge (1958)*** Out on DVD

Director:Claude Chabrol

Cast: Gerard Blain, Jean-Claude Brialy, Bernadette Lafont.

99min    French with subtitles

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Generally considered to be one of the first films in the French New Wave movement, Le Beau Serge was Claude Chabrol’s self-financed debut and he launches himself, full throttle, into this bleak piece of social realism that focuses on the homecoming of François (Jean-Claude Brialy) who is back from a few years in Paris. Full of sophisticated confidence, he finds that his old friends aren’t necessarily as happy to see him as he would have hoped, and particularly Serge, a leather-jacketed, rebellious roué who has turned to drink and settled for a loveless marriage

France was still getting back on its feet after the War years and there was considerable poverty in provincial life.  With its nods to the ‘Nouvelle Vague’ and improvised and grainy indie feel, it’s an interesting starting point for those keen on Chabrol or Nouvelle Vague but not gripping or well made enough to warrant much excitement compared to what was to come in the Chabrol canon. Some of the editing is poor with some shaky camera-work, although the performances are surprisingly accomplished particularly for Jean-Claude Brialy and Bernadette Lafont. MT

LE BEAU SERGE IS NOW OUT ON BLU-RAY AND DVD COURTESY OF EUREKA ENTERTAINMENT’S THE MASTERS OF CINEMA SERIES.

* GAUMONT RESTORATION.

* EXCERPTS AND INTERVIEWS WITH CLAUDE CHABROL.

* NEW AND IMPROVED ENGLISH SUBTITLES.

* ORIGINAL THEATRICAL TRAILER. 56 MIN DOCUMENTARY ABOUT THE MAKING OF THE FILM.

 

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