The first Nouvelle Vague's feature film is a dense and raw melodrama (but still pretty conventional) about the psychological state of the working-class French people deep in the country. It can get nasty and at times incomprehensible, but while it lacks in style compared to what came after, it is leaps ahead in substance to the Godard/Truffaut films that would come in the next five years.
Chabrol was a Master of Cinema, his debut nothing less than a Masterpiece. Such a simply told story, with a village full of simple people whose interwoven existences paint a picture of all the subtle, tragic complexities of people who suffer, and people who just muddle through, and people who struggle. Henri Decae's cinematography is eloquent and compassionate. Essential Cinema.
This is great, for reasons too many to enumerate here. For one thing, it has that perfect balance between incidental and archetypal that only the best art can offer. In terms of relatability, it certainly tops everything from the ensuing nouvelle vague. Bombastic end-sequence mimics Christian kitsch to an alienating effect, only to make the homoerotic drama at the center all the more real.
Le beau Serge, c'est le beau Serge, premier chef d'oeuvre de Chabrol, parfois la grâce creative, la justesse cinématographique des scènes guident les premiers pas d'un grand réalisateur, c'est le cas ici. Parfois leur oeuvre est servie par des acteurs géniaux c'est le cas, le trio merveilleux dont l'immense Bernadette Lafont. On peut aussi entendre que le problème des territoires oubliés est une vielle affaire....
Very good debut by Chabrol, although the melodramatic end is a bit disappointing. It suggest that there is hope for Serge while in reality you know the efforts by Francois are without meaning. I wonder why no one mentions the homo-erotic tension there is between Francois and Serge.
If this was the first film of the French New Wave I cannot really say, but it was the first of the Chabrol's fascinating career, with great performances and a gorgeous cinematography, and presenting us a bleak portrait of human decadence in a provincial town. http://filmotrope.com
What surprised me is the film's attitude to women. They treated as though they were just tools in the rights of passage for young men. When Marie is raped our main character does not stay to comfort her, he runs off to beat up the old man and then to his room to cry. Serge says it is normal - that the old man has done well to resist doing it before. And let's not forget that Serge had also raped her when she was 15.
mr chabrol est virtuose, deux mondes se heurtent et a travers ce fracas il nous donne a voir des personnages frappant et puissant. dans un décor sublime grâce au travail de la photo. la psychologie est fine et vrai, les acteurs fabuleux, sincères . il a su montrer l'humain dans sa nature profonde sans trop exagéré, questionnant des situations pouvant paraitre choquante ,avec simplicité.
It is interesting how many first time directors are drawn to stories about extreme disfunction. Bellochio did the same with "Fists In The Pocket." "Le Beau Serge" is a powerful example yet it is very different from the refined films of Chabrol's later career.
A solid movie, made even more impressive that it was Claude Chabrol's first film. Good acting, good dialogue (even though character's spoke their mind a bit too much), and a great representation of small towns (of which I am a native of). I'm a much bigger fan of this compared to other French New Wave debuts like 400 Blows and Breathless. The score was pretty awful though.