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Chabrol's "Le Beau Serge"


CaveGirl
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I plan to watch all the Claude Chabrol films tonite starting with LBS, all the while remembering this quote far down below by him as I analyze the characters and interplay between them and try to find the connection to  Hitchcock's "Shadow of a Doubt".

But more importantly I cannot decide which TCM wine to use as my libation?:
 

"Stupidity is infinitely more fascinating that intelligence. Intelligence has its limits while stupidity has none." Claude Chabrol



 





 

 

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Well, excuse me!

 

I think the lack of response to my Chabrol post shows an anti-French bias and anti-intellectualist position and I am appalled that no one apparently will be watching the whole slew of great Chabrol films that TCM is honoring us with tonite.

 

Bah humbug to all!

I wish you would all be forced to watch Pia Zadora in that Santa movie with the Martians for all time with your eyes in that contraption Alec wore in CO.

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CaveGirl,

 

Don't give up on us so quickly.  I am planning to sample some of the movies this evening.  I must admit that I don't know much about Chabrol and I know even less about wine so I am unable to come up with a clever reply to your post.  Thus I am looking forward to getting some basic information about Chabrol's films and I'm sure others will chime in once tonight's films have concluded.

 

I've been around the message boards enough to know that no opinion will go unchallenged, but I appreciate TCM presenting the works of a director that I might otherwise not be exposed to.

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LE BEAU SERGE aired second, and so, I only watched about 15 minutes of it as sleep was calling to me, but I did watch all of LES COUSINS. It was interesting to see the same two actors essentially switching roles for the two movies (it appeared, anyway - I didn't watch enough of LE BEAU SERGE to be certain). The one who was the nice-guy traveler in the first movie was a bitter drunk in the second, and the callow bohemian in the first movie was the nice-guy traveler in the second.

 

I enjoyed LES COUSINS, though I was puzzled why Paul, who appeared as if he could have any woman he wanted, became singularly obsessed with Florence, as if he had a compulsive need to destroy his cousin's happiness. And not just a need to bed her - but have her move in and torture poor Charles by laying around topless in bed and asking him to light her cigarette, taking showers with Paul through windows where you could practically see everything, etc. I also found the ending to be rather overwrought and contrived after the naturalistic feel of the rest of the movie. But still on the whole a thumbs-up.

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I did the reverse order and watched Le Beau Serge first and recorded Les Cousins to watch later.

 

Just a guess but TCM may have elected to present them in the order they chose because LBS is such a bleak movie - better to start the evening with a more approachable film.  For a directorial debut it is impressive but the dour subject matter makes it tough to stay with at times.

 

As far as comparisons with Shadow of a Doubt, it's been a while since I've seen the Hitchcock classic, but I can't say that I recognize any major similarities in the two films.  The obvious commonality is the theme of returning to one's hometown and the evils that may be hidden there, but I know that's not saying much.  I did see on the Wikipedia page for this movie the comment about Hitchcock's film inspiring Chabrol, so it would be interesting to know more about what that really meant.

 

 

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CaveGirl,

 

Don't give up on us so quickly.  I am planning to sample some of the movies this evening.  I must admit that I don't know much about Chabrol and I know even less about wine so I am unable to come up with a clever reply to your post.  Thus I am looking forward to getting some basic information about Chabrol's films and I'm sure others will chime in once tonight's films have concluded.

 

I've been around the message boards enough to know that no opinion will go unchallenged, but I appreciate TCM presenting the works of a director that I might otherwise not be exposed to.

I was just teasing, Cmovie!

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I've always wished there had been a contemporary British remake of LES COUSINS with, say, Terence Stamp, Tom Courtenay, and Julie Christie. It's understandable why LES COUSINS was a big hit in its day, but I think Chabrol went on to make much better films.

 

LE BEAU SERGE is sort of a "road not taken" for Chabrol. Not much influence of Hitchcock here; it's the kind of realistic drama, not all that far removed from neorealism, that Chabrol will not be making in the future.

 

I'd love for TCM to do a Chabrol month the way they did a Truffaut month a couple of years ago. Apparently not many of his titles are readily available to TCM. LE BOUCHER and THIS MAN MUST DIE are good first films to get to know his work; if you like LES BONNES FEMMES and LES BICHES, and I do, you are a true Claudeaholic.

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I have seen almost all  Claude Chabrol's films,maybe TCM will eventually do another installment with his thrillers,his movies are always interesting,worthwhile to watch even if he was prolific he made good movies.

I take it you missed "La Ceremonie" ('95) last night?

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