Essential Nouvelle Vague. Chabrol is great, I want to see all of his films, but what really makes it for me is the photography by Henri Decae. It is his eye that gave the unmistakable look of films such as The 400 Blows. Bob le Flambeur, and Elevator to the Gallows, all of which have my highest recommendation.
A very strange and mysterious film, mixing many tones and not fully revealing itself until you wake up the next day with the final images still in your head. As a tribute to flings, fantasies, and falling for beautiful strangers, it is appropriately both terrifying and giddy with joy, and likely to confuse people who think a film should be one or the other. Would make a great double bill with STRANGER BY THE LAKE.
A staple French New Wave film. Like many of his colleagues and contemporaries, Chabrol was a critic for Cahiers du cinéma. This movie is especially memorable for its dance scenes, the free-spirited females at the heart of the narrative, and the unseen ending that lends itself to multiple interpretations. Essential viewing for those interested in the "nouvelle vague."
Romanticism is cornered with bitter undercurrents in this deeply sad slice of parisian life flick. By the end, we witness beautiful lives nearly destroyed but there is vague sense of hope. The only complaint I have is that I wanted to know more about the girls. They seemed so pretty but their lives were so hollow. I probably love this movie but I'll have to return to it to see.
Tonal ambivalence, significant moments passing under open vaults of incidental perspective. Chabrol deepens cinematic fault lines without a catastrophic maelstrom of New Wave flippancy and insouciance: a partial break, like Antonioni's earliest; Les Bonnes Femmes pairs well with Le Amiche. Finale of courage and despair; one for youthful emotion, the other for its realization in doom or inconclusiveness.
Even with its predictable storyline and not so intelligent way the plot reveals itself by, the movie's power lies in the nightmarish mood and atmosphere which depicts both banality and cruelty of everyday life.
I like to quote Jonathan Rosenbaum about swimming pool sequence: which shows "the difference between joking and killing, or between banal horror and ultimate horror, is sometimes only one of degree".