Tag Archives: Jean-Claude Brialy

Francis Girod – Claude Chabrol: Mon premier film AKA Claude Chabrol : My First Movie (2003)

This 2003 documentary by Francis Girod revisits the town of Sardent, the location for LE BEAU SERGE as well as the site of director Claude Chabrol’s introduction to cinema as a young man. It features interviews with Chabrol and actors Jean-Claude Brialy and Bernadette Lafont. Read More »

Antonio Pietrangeli – Io la conoscevo bene AKA I Knew Her Well (1965)

Quote:
Following the gorgeous, seemingly liberated Adriana (Divorce Italian Style’s Stefania Sandrelli) as she chases her dreams in the Rome of La dolce vita, I Knew Her Well is at once a delightful immersion in the popular music and style of Italy in the sixties and a biting critique of its sexual politics and the culture of celebrity. Over a series of intimate episodes, just about every one featuring a different man, a new hairstyle, and an outfit to match, the unsung Italian master Antonio Pietrangeli, working from a script he cowrote with Ettore Scola, composes a deft, seriocomic character study that never strays from its complicated central figure. I Knew Her Well is a thrilling rediscovery, by turns funny, tragic, and altogether jaw-dropping. Read More »

Julien Duvivier – Le Diable et les Dix Commandements AKA The Devil and the Ten Commandments (1962)

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The multi-part film is a difficult kind of cinema to get right but Duvivier’s Le Diable et les dix commandements is a rare exception where the form succeeds admirably. The film consists of seven roughly 15 minute sketches, each showing what may happen if one or more of the Ten Commandments is broken. Each sketch is self-contained (except for the last which returns to the first) and linked by a nasty slithery serpent who has a very strange sense of humour. The sketches are either mini-dramas, usually with a clever twist at the end (the best instance of this being the second sketch: “Do not commit adultery”), or comic. The sketch featuring “Do no steal” is an outrageous comic farce with Jean-Claude Brialy and Louis de Funès, made even more hilarious by Duvivier’s unsubtle attempt to ape the New Wave film directors. Read More »

Lucio Fulci – Operazione San Pietro (1967)

Small time crook Napoleone falls into an unlikely gang made up of a gangster, called The Baron, and his two cohorts, Agonia and The Captain, where Napoleone takes them to Rome where they shack up with a shady used car dealer caled Il Cajella to help finance their new life of crime by planing to rob a statue from the Vatican. But a big-time American gangster, named Joe Ventura, hears about the heist and wants the priceless statue for himself by having his mistress, Samantha, come onto and betray the woman-hungry Cajella to give the statue away to her. Read More »

Claude Chabrol – Le beau Serge (1958)

Synopsis:
Of the hallowed group of Cahiers du cinéma critics turned filmmakers who transformed French film history, Claude Chabrol was the first to direct his own feature. His absorbing landmark debut, Le beau Serge, follows a successful yet sickly young man (Jean-Claude Brialy) who returns home to the small village where he grew up. There, he finds himself at odds with his former close friend (Gerard Blain)—now unhappily married and a wretched alcoholic—and the provincial life he represents. The remarkable and stark Le beau Serge heralded the arrival of a cinematic titan who would go on to craft provocative, entertaining films for five more decades. Read More »

Claude Chabrol – Les cousins (1959)

In Les cousins, Claude Chabrol crafts a sly moral fable about a provincial boy who comes to live with his sophisticated bohemian cousin in Paris. Through these seeming opposites, Chabrol conjures a darkly comic character study that questions notions of good and evil, love and jealousy, and success in the modern world. A mirror image of Le beau Serge, Chabrol’s debut, Les cousins recasts that film’s stars, Jean-Claude Brialy and Gérard Blain, in startlingly reversed roles. This dagger-sharp drama won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival and was an important early entry in the French New Wave. (-Criterion) Read More »

François Truffaut – La Mariée était en noir AKA The Bride wore Black (1968)

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This Francois Truffaut thriller is based on a novel by William Irish (aka Cornell Woolrich), whose books had been adapted by Alfred Hitchcock on many previous occasions. Jeanne Moreau stars as a woman whose fiancé is nastily murdered by five men. Utilizing a series of disguises, the cool-customer Moreau tracks down all five culprits, sexually enslaves them, and then engineers their deaths. The ominous musical score was written by Bernard Herrmann, another frequent Hitchcock collaborator. The Bride Wore Black was initially released in France as La Mariee etait en Noir. — Hal Erickson Read More »