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Noted: Claude Chabrol, 1930-2010.

An OBITUARY [Daily Telegraph] – Chabrol used the profits from Le Beau Serge and Les Cousins to fund Eric Rohmer’s Le Signe du Lion (1959) and Philippe de Broca’s Les Jeux de l’Amour (1960) and Le Farceur (1961), and to help pay for Jacques Rivette’s Paris Nous Appartient (1960). He also acted as “technical adviser” on Jean-Luc Godard’s first feature, A Bout de Souffle (1959), but this was a token credit to enable Godard to piggyback into the cinema on Chabrol’s shoulders; in practice, Godard was an innovator who needed no technical advice.

Squat, bespectacled and rotund, Chabrol played the joker in the pack, resembling nothing so much as a startled owl. It was an image that did not always redound to his advantage, casting doubt on his seriousness of purpose. He was a bon vivant and something of a gourmet, losing no opportunity in his films for a feast or a banquet. Wags said that they would not recognise a Chabrol film without, at the very least, a good domestic “blow-out”.

Though in his work he pilloried the bourgeoisie – its foibles and petty cruelties – he was himself of this class and shared many of its values: property, wealth and domesticity. While two of his marriages failed, he retained a touching faith in the institution itself.

Born in Paris on June 24 1930, the son of a pharmacist, Claude Chabrol grew up at Sardent, 150 miles south of the capital, and always regarded himself more of a country boy than a Parisian. Indeed, his first two films were variants on the theme of the town mouse and the country mouse.

Continued at The Daily Telegraph | More Chronicle & Notices.

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