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
This film was one of several collaborations between Chabrol and his wife Audran and it restored him to favour after several years in the critical wilderness. He described the callous tale of an architect who becomes involved in the strange relationship between two women as 'the first film I made exactly as I wished' and set it in an impeccably observed off-season St. Tropez. A brilliantly performed, exquisite drama..
Incredible moments of ambiguity! When a man divides two women in lust, all actions that play him like a face in a game of poker reveal the multiplicity in motivations. Sassard's character is given the name "Why," which emphasizes the layered answer to vague boundaries of emotions and desires. When Frederique seduces Why's male fling Paul, it is as much about jealousy as it is to reveal the ludicrous nature of men.
Just this summer, in June, we were celebrating Claude Chabrol's 80th birthday with a roundup of appreciations. Now, as the AFP and other