Saturday, 25 April 2009

Que la Bete Meure

Just finished watching an excellent Claude Chabrol film, translated as 'This Man Must Die'.

Chabrol was (in my opinion) the greatest of the New Wave directors. QLBM is the type of film that is no longer made, or so it seems. An intelligent, well-paced, well-acted, subtly-written film that does not try to be clever. It had a superbly witty performance by Jean Yanne as a genuinely obnoxious character.

Sadly, the most recent French film I saw was the wretched 'Brotherhood of the Wolf'. This film tried being an American film. But trying to make American films is probably the best way of making a modern British film. 'Brotherhood of the Wolf' seemed just that through its use of anachronistic music, mugging to replace irony and vivid special effects to replace atmosphere.

Still, France seems to have retained a lot of its culture and their film industry is still comparatively good.

Incidentally, Brittany (where most of QLBM was filmed) was much like Scotland. Yet I think our scenery needs the 1960s technicolour to draw out the rich colours and contrasts. I fear that even if we did have a film industry to speak of, it would depend on the most recent technology, rather than the technology most apt for capturing our scenery.

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