Adapted from Ruth Rendell’s chilling novel, La cérémonie is one of Claude Chabrol’s most celebrated and unforgettable films.
Wealthy family the Lelièvres have taken on the extremely efficient but strangely detached Sophie as their live-in maid. Her free time is spent alone in her room until she meets local postal clerk Jeanne who has a disturbed history and a grudge against Sophie’s new employers. As the pair begin to bond the family grow increasingly concerned.
A masterpiece that builds in tension to a shocking and violent climax. –Second Sight
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
Right from the start, Chabrol creates an atmosphere of something being wrong although the surface seems calm. Bonnaire and Huppert both give chilling performances as two women with mysterious pasts and dark secrets. The cinematography is tight, almost graceful and yet establishes a sense of dread as the story unfolds and finally explodes in the face of the audience. Highy recommended, surely among Chabrols best work.
Strange lesbian psychodrama about a dyslexic maid who's obsessed with watching television and her postal clerk friend who reads other people's mail. The maid works for an upper crust family who's favorite activities are implied to be whoring, incest, and abuse. Chabrol is a master manipulator and packs so many little details into each frame he just leaves you in awe, and keeps twisting that knife of suspense.
La cérémonie 1995
Claude Chabrol from a novel by Ruth Rendell
Bizarre tale of the revolt of the underclass told in an indolent manner by Chabrol in an imitation of Hitchcock… read review