....or almost nothing of this old Nouvelle Vague.For these who are still believing that this cinema was uncompromising,revolutionary and saved us from the old drivelers (However,Truffaut once said that he would give his whole filmography in exchange for "Les Enfants Du Paradis" ;I would too),they will be probably disappointed when they learn that Chabrol had not even read the book when he accepted to transfer it to the screen(Cinema D'Auteur,my foot!) ;he did it just because "Les Bonnes Femmes" had been a flop and his producer urged him to repair the breach by releasing a more accessible effort;it was much better but even so displayed no sign that Chabrol had genuine creativity to offer .Among his already big output -compared to the other directors of his school- ,there's only one good movie ("Les Cousins" ) and a handful of watchable ones ("A Double Tour " "Le Beau Serge " " L'Oeil Du Malin" ).It would take him ten years to produce really great movies in the late sixties /early seventies :but then he had forgotten the precepts of the N.W. and worked on terrific screenplays.
Chabrol himself told "Les Godelureaux " was a futile movie about futility.It bears all the scars of the time : a succession of desultory scenes,some funny,some much less so,cult of youth, young people busy contemplating their navel ,exchanging fortune- cookie philosophies ,blaming bourgeois charity (the scene when Stephane Audran,later Chabrol's wife and his best actress ever, performs an erotic dance before the ladies' deeply shocked eyes and the gentlemen salivating like Pavlov's dogs is perhaps the highlight of a terrible hodgepodge ) and singing "La Carmagnole" ,the revolutionary anthem ,in their sports car:in most of the N.W. works ,the characters can always make both ends meet .
Jean -Claude Brialy portrays (even if the story is not very clear on that point for good reasons)a bisexual playing a two- bit Vicomte De Valmont ("Dangerous Liaisons") whose motto is probably "revenge is a dish best eaten cold" .Charles Belmont ,an actor who quickly fell into oblivion ,is his victim.Bernadette Laffont ,an actress either outstanding or exasperating ,depending on whom you ask , serves as the instrument of this revenge .
Only the Nouvelle Vague students -and God only knows how many they are here there and everywhere- should pick up this flick among Chabrol's monumental filmography;to people who would like to discover him,I 'd simply say : try "Le Boucher" or "Que La Bête Meure" instead.
Like this? try these.......
"Les Bonnes Femmes ",Claude Chabrol
"Les Copains" ,Yves Robert
"Vacances Portugaises" ,Pierre Kast
"Et Satan Conduit Le Bal" ,Dabat.
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