Friday, September 29, 2006
The Bridesmaid (First Run Pictures)
Those French New Wave directors -- Claude Chabrol, Jean-Luc Godard, Eric Rohmer, Jacques Rivette, Alain Resnais -- are no longer rebellious young upstarts challenging the film establishment. Now in their 70s and 80s, they have become rebellious old upstarts challenging a film establishment that still clings to conventions. The latest old New Waver to deliver a film is Claude Chabrol, and his film is The Bridesmaid/La Demoiselle d'Honneur (opening September 29 at Landmarks Hillcrest Cinemas)
In 1958, Claude Chabrol was the first of the young critics at Cahiers du Cinema to make a film and launch the Nouvelle Vague or French New Wave Cinema. Stylistically, Chabrol displayed less of the flamboyance of Jean-Luc Godard and leaned more towards the kind of subtlety and control exhibited by Eric Rohmer. Chabrol didnt shake audiences up with wildly innovative editing or handheld camerawork but rather with stories that often skewered the French petite bourgeoisie or that took a strangely detached tone in exploring relationships. The mood and tone of Chabrol's films were what made them provocative.