Charles is a young provincial coming up to Paris to study law. He shares his cousin Paul's flat. Paul is a kind of decadent boy, a disillusioned pleasure-seeker, always dragging along with ... See full summary »
Charles Desvallées has good reasons to believe that his wife is cheating on him and hires a P.D. in order to prove himself right. Once he knows the lover is writer Victor Pégala, he drives ... See full summary »
During World War II, in occupied France, a woman of limited schooling raises two children in a ratty flat. She is Marie Latour. In 1941, her husband Paul returns from the front, too weak to... See full summary »
Single father obsessed with murdering the hit&run driver who killed his only child, poses as a screenwriter to get close to an actress who was in the death car. He feels fully prepared to ... See full summary »
Anne Goupil is a literature student in Paris in 1957. Her elder brother, Pierre, takes her to a friend's party where the guests include Philip Kaufman, an expatriate American escaping ... See full summary »
The upper-class owner of a gallery, Catherine Lelievre, hires the efficient and quiet maid Sophie to work in the family manor in the French countryside. Her husband Georges Lelievre, who is... See full summary »
André Mercier, a journalist known as Albin Mercier, is a failed, embittered writer. Sent to cover an event in Germany, he gets to know Andreas Hartmann, another writer who, for his part, ... See full summary »
Louis Rapiere aka Tiger is sent to Port-a-Pitre (French Guyane), to supervise the recuperation of a treasure from a sunken ship. A group of revolutionaries pirates the ship and robs the ... See full summary »
Charles is a young provincial coming up to Paris to study law. He shares his cousin Paul's flat. Paul is a kind of decadent boy, a disillusioned pleasure-seeker, always dragging along with other idles, while Charles is a plodding, naive and honest man. He fell in love with Florence, one of Paul's acquaintances. But how will Paul react to that attempt to build a real love relationship ? One of the major New Wave films. Written by
Chabrol's tribute to 'Les Enfants Terribles' is his least typical film, but contains many seeds of his later genius.
Chabrol before he truly became Chabrol. This might seem to be one of his more 'realistic' films, with its obligatory nouvelle vague scene of Parisian freewheeling, but one of 'Les Cousins'' main themes is the disparity between reality and fantasy, and the fate of those who cannot tell between them. Just as paul turns his personality into a series of roles, his life into ritualistic tableaux, so Chabrol suffuses his realistic narrative with references to myth, fable, fairy tale, opera, and, especially, film.
'Les Cousins' plays like a counterpart to Melville's 'Les Enfants Terribles', with the same theatricality, claustrophobia, incestuousness, and mythological base; the same cinematographer, even one of Melville's actors! most interesting is the development of Chabrol's style, the lockjaw camerawork, the complex use of point of view, the puncturing of solemnity with incongruous humour (see especially the hilarious 'fish' scene).
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