Jours tranquilles à Clichy
Expatriate Henry Miller indulges in a variety of sexual escapades while struggling to establish himself as a serious writer in Paris.Expatriate Henry Miller indulges in a variety of sexual escapades while struggling to establish himself as a serious writer in Paris.Expatriate Henry Miller indulges in a variety of sexual escapades while struggling to establish himself as a serious writer in Paris.
Amid a bushy and patchy filmography, Claude Chabrol admits liking this movie very much. That this movie makes him feel good is a mystery to me for it showcases none interest. His lack of input in his film, even his absence in the directing are blatant. He shot in a glib way an amorphous biopic to which one doesn't succeed in getting interested beyond the first ten minutes. The characters (Henry "Joey" Miller, Alfred "Carl" Perlès, Colette Ducarouge) have little depth and thickness and their acting mainly consist in wandering from brothel to brothel, from restaurant to restaurant (as Chabrol's inclination for gastronomy has it) and from flat to apartment. Probably to obey to the famous Latin expression "Carpe Diem". The action is sluggish and it's nearly a feat that the filmmaker could stretch his film for two hours with such a thin, stale, repetitive screenplay. It's all the more infuriating as the scenario doesn't live up to some heaven-sent opportunities. The ones through which one could have remembered Chabrol's trademark like unearth the hateful flaws of a posh bourgeoisie. But alas, Chabrol contented himself to skim over this point. Bereft of this asset which might have justify the vision of this film and of rigor, Chabrol installs the audience in a deep torpor and one stays out of this derivative picture of the Paris during the Roaring Twenties.
The cast is totally undistinguished, a far cry from Chabrol's great family like Jean-Claude Brialy, Michel Bouquet, Jean Poiret or Isabelle Huppert. Yes, the luminary Stéphane Audran is part of the cast but she's completely wasted in a role unworthy of her skills. Anna Galiena is also included in the cast but she will be given the chance to shine the same year with Patrice Leconte's dreamy "Mari De La Coiffeuse".
Chabrol beat his dead horse with this mediocre commissioned film which is now in limbo. Anyway, 1990 was a dreadful vintage for him with these "quiet days in Clichy" and also with another fiasco the same year: "Dr. M".
- Jun 9, 2006