Saint Tropez, 1975. Julie Wormser and her lover, writer and neighbour Jeff Marle, plan the assassination of her wealthy husband Louis, an impotent who drinks a lot. She hits him, and leaves the rest of the task to Jeff. Julie finds herself alone the following day, and becomes therefore prime suspect. Where is Louis’ body? Where is Jeff? Is there any secret beyond a door? –IMDb
Widely credited as the founding father of the French Nouvelle Vague movement, Claude Chabrol is responsible for a body of work that is as prolific as it is boldly defined. A master of the suspense thriller, Chabrol approaches his subjects with a cold, distanced objectivity that has led at least one critic to liken him to a compassionate but unsentimental god viewing the foibles and follies of his creations. Inherent in all of Chabrol’s thrillers is the observation of the clash between bourgeois value and barely-contained, oftentimes violent passion. This clash gives the director’s work a melodramatic quality that has allowed him to drift between the realm of the art film and that of popular entertainment.
Born in Paris on June 24, 1930, Chabrol was educated at the University of Paris, where he was a pharmacology student, and at the Ecole Libre des Sciences Politiques. Following some military service, he developed an interest in the cinema and worked for a brief time in the publicity… read more
Despite some dramatic leaps, which I could get over anyway, I think this is an unsung masterpiece. Bresson achieved purity of form, and Chabrol purity of storytelling. He doesn't fall into the trap of not developing his characters though, as most plot-based writers do. He knows human beings like the back of his hand. And not to mention the strong feminist message. No other films shows how the whole structure . . .
. . . is dependent on the submission of women, and this film shows it. Though the second example is more extreme, way more extreme, I can't help but think of Bugajski's Interrogation to explicate that theme, since I watched it recently and it's been swimming in my head. Chabrol is my hero.