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724 Ratings

Les cousins

Directed by Claude Chabrol
France, 1959


In Les cousins, Claude Chabrol crafts a sly moral fable about a provincial boy who comes to live with his sophisticated bohemian cousin in Paris.

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Les cousins Directed by Claude Chabrol
The mercilessness of the filming is recognizably keyed to the Aldrich of The Big Knife, circular panning shots burnish the screen and frosted glass dividers splinter it. Chekov’s gun will not merely be fired but also turned into a literally loaded mechanism of Fate, a languid intensity accelerating toward a devastating negation.
November 03, 2014
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The director flaunts the immoral implications of his cynicism: the riotous students in Paul’s circle exhibit a sybaritic and sexualized brutality that finds a political parallel in the Germanophile Paul’s obsession with firearms and Nazi paraphernalia, as well as a visual parallel in the brash and scathing flamboyance of the images. Here, the director tackles his great theme—the puncturing of bourgeois moralism, albeit at a price—with a joyful, quasi-Nietzschean derision.
May 13, 2013
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The film concludes with a shocking development that seems at first like a nasty non sequitur, but, upon reflection, proves to have been in the cards from the very beginning It’s a filmmaking trick that costs nothing to execute—which is just one reason whyLes Cousins remains a model lesson for independent filmmakers.
July 31, 2012
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