Auteur List: Claude Chabrol - Discussion and Defenses

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NABOB OF NOWHERE
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2005 12:30 pm
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Re: Auteur List: Claude Chabrol - Discussion and Defenses

#76 Post by NABOB OF NOWHERE » Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:58 pm

domino harvey wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 3:58 pm
Zardi Spotting is so addicting that now it leaks into watching other auteurs' work too. Just in the last couple days he has popped up for me in several Vadim movies and an Oury-- directors I'm not likely to ever mistake for Chabrol! But no one delivers a baseline consistent level of Zardi like Chabrol
I had no idea he was so prolific, working with Godard, Bresson, Resnais and Melville amongst others. If anyone deserved a dedicated thread and mash up it must surely be the divine Dominique.

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domino harvey
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Re: Auteur List: Claude Chabrol - Discussion and Defenses

#77 Post by domino harvey » Sat Jul 06, 2019 2:40 pm

NABOB OF NOWHERE wrote:
Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:53 pm
nitin wrote:
Sat Jul 06, 2019 9:26 am
Any opinions on A Girl Cut in Two?
Watched it twice to see if I could find anything of interest. I would have been better off eating glass. Ultra-poor and confined to the lowest of lower echelons of Chabrol's output.Thank god he didn't go out on this one Bellamy is no great shakes either but at least is not a mess.
Coming up strongly on the rails in the final furlong are Violette Noziere, A story of Women and Betty.
I don't dislike it as much as you, but it's a mess. I never understood why so many people went gaga over it on its initial release, and revisiting didn't answer the question. Benoît Magimel's bizarre rich fop act is the film's saving grace and he and Chabrol's son as the slimy lawyer in the last act are what topple this over into the "okay" category for me. Mathilda May pops up again to more or less just be called "still hot" by several characters, but they're not wrong. As a side note, the Artificial Eye DVD has some of the worst, low-effort subtitles I've ever suffered through-- among the flaws, the most galling is surely the decision by whoever made them to translate the protagonist's last name for the length of the film (Neige = Snow)

nitin
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Re: Auteur List: Claude Chabrol - Discussion and Defenses

#78 Post by nitin » Sat Jul 06, 2019 10:17 pm

Thanks for that. I have only seen a handful of Chabrols to date (La Ceremonie, L’Enfer and Merci Pour Le Chocolat) and have liked all of them but looks like I can safely skip that one (although some of the others appear less accessible in terms of good quality dvds/blus available).

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therewillbeblus
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Re: Auteur List: Claude Chabrol - Discussion and Defenses

#79 Post by therewillbeblus » Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:31 pm

L'Oeil du malin (1962): Like Ophelia there’s that first-person narration by an anti-protagonist who has a nihilistic edge. This character is far more self-aware than the average person, but I appreciated this quality as it allowed me to remove myself from the psychology and give full attention to the actions that result from bruised egos. This all adds up to a pretty surface-level simplified profile because we get that narration Chabrol doesn’t keep us distanced, curious or guessing. When taken with Chabrol’s other works that focus more realistically on people who either don’t show, tell, or know all that’s happening inside their brains and hearts, this hyper-aware clearcut psychology reveals that aware or not these actions have the same value. While I enjoyed his narrative plotting at times, some of our lead’s inner dialogue or tit-for-tat thoughts were a little too much, from deliberately disturbing people when feeling slighted by not being invited to taking more drastic action as a result of other forms of rejection (“he humiliated me so I planned my revenge” or something very close is an actual line in this). Still, I really enjoyed the film a lot for infusing this darkness yet again into a film shot like its nouvelle vague cousins. Chabrol’s form grows over time and I love his late period but there’s a part of me that wishes he made more films in this form and style, because he’s so damn good at it- in fact between the skills he demonstrates here and in Les bonnes femmes he’s right up there with Godard for the top at utilizing the new wave techniques.

Forcing us to hang out with this guy as our protagonist not from afar but literally opening us to his mind and trapping us there, inseparable for 75 minutes, felt compulsively watchable and disturbing at the same time. He reminded me of Highsmith’s Tom Ripley but not antisocial/sociopathic, rather narcissistic, cynical and solipsistic, while conscious and open to the laws that govern his sociological actions and reactions. This is a character who does feel and care and still chooses harm- which is arguably just as frightening as a Ripley. I loved the scenes of him following his desired woman around, plotting calmly while I was sitting nervously wondering how far he’ll go, believing immediately of how capable he is at causing harm yet harnessed by Chabrol, not allowed to be separated from his journey which became mine, and feeling culpable for what occurs! Perhaps this isn’t as groundbreaking as many of his other films, but I loved it, and while I know I haven’t even touched the bourgeois themes that inspire some of the resentment, they mattered a distant second to the reactionary psychology at play from simple human to human jealousy without the social class variable.

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NABOB OF NOWHERE
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Re: Auteur List: Claude Chabrol - Discussion and Defenses

#80 Post by NABOB OF NOWHERE » Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:58 am

therewillbeblus wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:31 pm
L'Oeil du malin (1962): Like Ophelia there’s that first-person narration by an anti-protagonist who has a nihilistic edge. While I enjoyed his narrative plotting at times, some of our lead’s inner dialogue or tit-for-tat thoughts were a little too much, from deliberately disturbing people when feeling slighted by not being invited to taking more drastic action as a result of other forms of rejection (“he humiliated me so I planned my revenge” or something very close is an actual line in this).

I wrote up some thoughts on this earlier in this thread but specifically on this point I think the die is cast well before the 'moment of humiliation'. I wouldn't invest too much stock in this being a massive tipping point as his finger is very much already squeezing a hair trigger. Importantly the narrative is in the past tense which puts a terrific slant on the accenting of motive and emotion at any particular point in what appears as contemporaneous action.

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therewillbeblus
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Re: Auteur List: Claude Chabrol - Discussion and Defenses

#81 Post by therewillbeblus » Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:56 am

NABOB OF NOWHERE wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:58 am
I wrote up some thoughts on this earlier in this thread but specifically on this point I think the die is cast well before the 'moment of humiliation'. I wouldn't invest too much stock in this being a massive tipping point as his finger is very much already squeezing a hair trigger. Importantly the narrative is in the past tense which puts a terrific slant on the accenting of motive and emotion at any particular point in what appears as contemporaneous action.
That's a great point- I hadn't considered the past tense leaving space for reflection in connecting his thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in hindsight. It does give an entirely new spin on the film though, especially if you consider his intense and uncharacteristic reaction at the end of the film compared to what precedes it, ultimately making it more characteristic and the first 95% of the film read in a new context. This would then suppose that these lines are not actually delivered cold with confidence, but rather cold with self-damnation, appearing without emotion out of powerless to affect the past. I actually like the film far less now, for what made it work despite the small gripes I mentioned is in presenting us with this dangerous person who we must follow and align with who is self-aware yet intentionally harming others. Take away the twisted intent, and you have an even simpler and less interesting film. I still thought it was beautiful to look at though and may still make my final list.

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