The Essential Claude Chabrol: Volume 2 DVD
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Directed by Claude Chabrol
Produced in 1999
Main Language - French with English subtitles
David Parkinson takes a look at this set of three films from the 'French Hitchcock' which see him gleefully bending the rules of thriller convention.
As the three films on volume 2 of the Essential Claude Chabrol testify, nobody takes greater delight in exposing the evil that lurks in the everyday than Claude Chabrol.
Inspired by the misdeeds of Marie-Louise Girard, The Story of Women (1988) shows how the desperation that prompts Isabelle Huppert to become a backstreet abortionist in a Nazi-occupied Norman town is gradually replaced by avarice, arrogance and recklessness, as she moves into a well-appointed apartment, colludes with prostitute Marie Trintignant and neglects shell-shocked husband François Cluzet for collaborator Nils Tavernier.
But just as Chabrol refuses to judge Huppert's behaviour (even after her blasphemous prayer to the Virgin Mary), he makes oleaginous game show host Philippe Noiret seem appealingly gregarious in Masques (1987), even though he is clearly mistreating ward Anne Brochet and may be responsible for the disappearance of writer Robin Renucci's sister.
Making masterly use of Noiret's estate, Chabrol evokes both Simenon and Hitchcock as he gleefully plays fast and loose with thriller convention. And he similarly bends the rules of the whodunit in The Colour of Lies (1999), as Breton police inspector Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi's investigation into the rape and murder of a 10 year-old girl brings her into contact with embittered artist Jacques Gamblin, his vivacious wife Sandine Bonnaire, pompous tele-journalist Antoine de Caunes, shopkeepers Bulle Ogier and Noel Simsolo, and petty crook Pierre Marlot.
David Parkinson on 23rd April 2010
Author of 191 reviews
Contains the three films Masks (1987), The Story of Women (1988) and The Colour of Lies (1999).
A Story of Women: Set in Nazi-occupied France, this compelling drama stars Isabelle Huppert in a role that won her the award for Best Actress at the Venice Film Festival. Based on a true story, Huppert plays Marie, an illegal abortionist who risks the terrible consequences of discovery by the Nazis and Vichy government so that she can save her young family from the oppression of extreme poverty. Chabrol's haunting and engrossing film confronts its controversial subject matter with honesty and compassion.
Masks: Chabrol's mystery thriller centres on the investigation by a writer, Roland Wolf (Robin Renucci), into the unsolved murder of his sister. His quest leads him to the door of TV show host Legagneur (Philippe Noiret) whose affable public persona may conceal some rather more unpleasant qualities. As he becomes acquainted with the people in Legagneur's world, Wolf discovers that no-one is as they first seem...
The Colour of Lies: Valeria Bruni Tedeschi stars as a Lesage, a police inspector on the hunt for a young girl's murderer in a small Brittany town. The prime suspect is the last person to have seen her alive, artist René (Jacques Gamblin), but the course of her investigations also brings her into contact with his protective wife (Sandrine Bonnaire), and an eccentric television journalist (Antoine de Caunes). Featuring standout performances from its star cast, Chabrol's film is a compelling and suspenseful psychological thriller.
Publisher: Artificial Eye
Length: 321 mins
Cat No: ART485DVD
Format: DVD Colour
- 3 discs.