He has made many films, but I would not know where to start, because I am relatively unfamiliar with the respective reputations of each of his films and would like some insight. The only film of his I have seen is La Ceremonie.
it doesn’t matter ,they are all the same[the lesbian drama les biches might be an exception]
Watch these three films from his “Helene Cycle,” the series of films he made with his wife in which her character’s name is always named Helene.
The Unfaithful Wife
Do you not like him, or do you mean to say that his entire oeuvre is embodied by a single motif
I’d start as early as possible: Le Beau Serge, Les Cousins and A Double Tour (aka. Leda) set the tone for what’s to follow. Then I’d move into his first major period with La Femme Infidele , La Rupture and :Le Boucher. After that there’s his Isabelle Huppert period (which isn’t over) beginning with Violette Nozierre.All the others are worth seeing, but they vary from film to film. Story of Women is my fave of his Huppert films.
Betty is a masterpiece — the best film he’s made to date with his ex, Stephane Audran. It’s a brilliantly incisive film about REAL alcoholism.
Among his most recent works A Girl Cut in Two is an absolute masterpiece. I trust this means more Chabrols starring France’s new “It Girl” Ludivine Sagnier. A recasting of the Stanford White / Harry K. Thaw/ Evelyn Nesbitt triangle (filmed previously as “The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing” and “Ragtime”) it has Chabrolian roots that go right back to A Double Tour.
Oh anf if you can find a copy of Marie-Chantal vs. Le Dr. Kah, GRAB IT!
of course he did influence the way fassbinder shot the murder by reinhold of mieze in berlin alexanderplatz.[les bonnes femmes]
La Femme Infidele, Le Boucher and Que la bête meure I think are his best
Les Bonne Femmes, L’Enfer, and Violette are his best for me.
La Ceremonie would be a great place to start. You can also view my Claude Chabrol list.
La Ceremonie is the one film of his I’ve seen as I mentioned above.
Oops sorry. After La Ceremonie, I saw The Story of Women and This Man Must Die which fueled my interest in his work.
My God, this guy has made a TON of films. Him and Godard are easily the most productive of the New Wavers. But Chabrol is one of those that I know the least about. I’ve read more of his criticism than I have seen of his films.
Dive right in, Bobby. His films are always skillfully made. The best are superb entertainments with something more.
He understands the bloddy-mindedness of the bourgeoisie like no one else. And he deals with it powerfully. In “a Gril Cut in Two” for example the reckless indolent son of the richest family in town ( played with great vigor by benoi Magimel) goes about with a kind of “minder” who’s always there to pay the bills for him. Not just restaurant tabs, but anything he breaks or anyone he attacks. There’s a superb moment where this monster stretches out his hand, without lookin gat it, and the minder puts a champagne flute into it and fills it to the brim with champagne. He’s obviously a psychopath in the making. But Chabrol is so skillful at establishing this character, his world and the others with whom he comes in contac that when he finally commits a crime we’re startled yet at the smae time no surprised. We know he;d do it, but seeign it being done is another matter — and Chabrol is a master when it comes to delivering such a nuance.
La fille coupée en deux, la fleur du mal, madame bovary, les biches and la cérémonie.i’ve seen those.and merci pour le chocolat which was really good. i love to watch isabelle huppert in his films. i think la fleur du mal was the first film of him that i saw.but i think that was a bad idea.so yes me too i think that la cérémonie would be a nice start to his films. i want to watch “Une Affaire de Femmes” but i can’t find it anywhere,i’ve been looking for it for a long time. has somebody watched it?
I agree that La Ceremonie is masterpiece but I’d actually recommend watching something earlier first since they might be bit disappointing if you come to them later. Les Cousins for example, or some other film of his first “cluster”.
Why not Les Bonnes Femmes?
It’s one of his earliest works, but still packs one hell of a wallop. Plus, if you may be a Tarantino fan, you’ll be able to draw a few parallels and see a few lifts Quentin made.
Le Beau Serge works, too, but it’s not as easy to find a copy.
Les Bonnes Femme but I think if you ask 10 people you’ve got 10 different answers.
You would like to watch Le Beau Serge considered as the first film of la nouvelle vague.
Or Violette Nozière as being his first film with Isabelle Hupert.
La Femme infidèle for one of his films with Stéphane Audran (his wife).
In the last decade, Merci pour le chocolat is the one I liked best.
But don’t watch them all. Chabrol is the first one to admit many of his films are bad (He said he was ashamed of Les Magiciens, Les Innocents aux mains sales, Le Cheval d’Orgueil , La Décade prodigieuse with Orson Welles, Nada and worst among all Folies Bourgeoises).
Follies Bourgeois (aka. The Twist) is rather fun. And so is Dr. Popaul — with Belmondo, Laura Antonelli and Mia Farrow made up to look like Jerry Lewis in The Nutty Professor.
Also Chabrol’s episode in Paris Vu Par (La Muette) is superb.
Les Bonne Femmes is great early Chabrol, but rather hard to take for some — being exceedingly downbeat and all.
I recently saw LES COUSINS for the first time, incredible film that’s really complex and one of the key masterpieces of the French New Wave. I second David E’s recommendation of ‘’A GIRL CUT IN TWO’’ but I’d also recommend ‘’Merci pour le Chocolat’’ which for me is a masterpiece.
I also recommend “Merci Pour Le Chocolat” – perhaps my favourite Chabrol and one which really bears up to repeated viewings I think. If you were taken with La Ceremonie I believe you will find much to reward you in MPLC.
If you were planning to purchase the DVD’s, then I recommend doing the following. Kino has a Chabrol release but it may be a bit costly for you. If you want to save money and have an all-region DVD player (which you can get a Phillipsone from Wal-Mart or Target for like $40-$70) then here are two cheap alternatives in which you can get many of his movies via box sets for cheap on Amazon UK like around $18-$19 (US):
So, you can get many movies just for the price of one DVD but if you don’t care, then you can try the following from Kino: