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…ALWAYS THE BRIDESMAID AND NEVER THE BRIDE or BEAUTIFULLY PERVERSE FRENCH FILM FROM CLAUDE CHABROL!!!
It took over two years for French genius, Claude Chabrol’s LA DEMOISELLE D’HONNEUR to find a US distributor — but it was well worth the wait! I met up with my roommate and great pal, Alan, to view it at the Lumiere Cinema last night. I am not sure what Alan really thought of it as I think he was still “digesting” it as we ate our Korean Bar-b-q after watching it but I LOVED every single frame!

Aside from the fact that it stars one of my fave French actors, Benoit Magimel — um, excuse me but who didn’t drool upon seeing him in THE PIANO TEACHER!!??!? Claude Chabrol is one of my all time favorite filmmakers. I think one of the reasons I love him so very much is that his work can’t really be predicted. It is always full of tension — and, very often, that tension will build to nothing or build up to something of nightmarish proportions! I love that. I also love his love of finding beauty in the oddness of human nature and the perverse of inter-personal relationships and the perverse in society and the on-going class struggles. True. It has been a while since he made what one can really call a masterpiece. However, I am a very big fan of MERCI POUR LE CHOCOLAT and suggest you rush out and secure the DVD as soon as possible. It features his favorite muse, Isabelle Huppert, giving it her all — and creeping you out as well as breaking your heart. Oh, and think twice before accepting any hot chocolate from Ms. Huppert!

Anyway, back to THE BRIDESMAID. An adult exploration of a sexually stunted man and his affair with danger in the form of haunted looking woman played with sensual ease by Laura Smet. The film is one big sigh of dread and worry. The viewer watches and just waits for something horrible and scary to happen. But, this is Claude Chabrol and half the power of his cinema is the way it seeps into your brain after the lights come up. This is challenging cinema, kids and I love it! Now, I don’t want to give away any spoilers but I will tell you that there is something odd about that bust with which Benoit’s character is so fascinated. Oh, and that smell is probably a bit more worrying than he realizes — but when you see the film you will suspect that. There are many “red herrings” in this film (as in most Chabrol films) — however, the endless tango dancing upstairs isn’t one of them. I am fairly certain that the tango can be used as a symbol of death and I do believe that is what is going on here.

My only real criticism of Chabrol’s 2004 film is that he never lets us enjoy Mr. Magimels awesome bod yet we do get to enjoy Ms. Smet’s. Not too cool. If we objective women we should also should objective the men. In fact, it is time for men to be objectified. Even still, this is a cool bit of cinematic mediation. I highly recommend seeing it if you can!!! I loved it! But, be warned — this is not the stuff of cineplex. This is art cinema. And, it’s French. Now. Who can get me some nude shots of Benoit Magimel, please?!?!?

And, a tip of my hat to Claude Chabrol!
At 80 plus years he is still making better movies than most. And, I hear he is finishing up work on what is likely is last film with Isabelle Huppert!!! How many of you remember LA CEREMONI!?!?! I still have nightmares of those final moments as Ms. H tracks down the wealthy family. ..and, Jackie Bisset rocked!

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August 14, 2006. Uncategorized.

6 Comments

  1. ing replied:

    If anyone finds those nude pics, could you please forward them to my blog?

    Thank you very much, and mmm mmm!

  2. Karyn replied:

    Movies that build up and up and up and ratchet up the tension and leave me breathing shallowly in anticipation of The Big Reveal or The Big Resolution (or, well, something big, anyway), make me itch and piss me off! Even if they are brilliant and powerful, I walk around for hours if not days feeling like I need to explode a little bit to release the cinematic tension. Feh!

    Maybe I’m just not fab enough to appreciate art… I like my movies all wrapped up and pretty at the end, in a nice ribbon, neat and tidy. Not unlike a box from Tiffany’s, now I think of it.

    Does that make me bad?

  3. ing replied:

    Bad = those nude pics. I am still waiting. . .

  4. Me replied:

    oh Matty, once again you make this one sound so good! Not a big fan of french films but this sounds intriguing. Might have to go on a DVD search before going back to the wilds.

  5. matt replied:

    Ing — I searched higher and I searched much lower but no nudie shots of Benoit were to be found and thus far no one out in world we call Cyber has sent us any. So, we will have to live with those awesome semi-nude tracking shots and our imagination. Sigh.

    Karyn — Ah, but this is the magic of art. It’s all subjective. One person’s rollercoaster ride is another’s date with horror. You are more than fab enough! Tho, you’ve not seen the movie — you just might discover you like it. …Or, at the very least, a hot French guy walking about in his undies. Of course, I just reduced what I thought was an interesting work of art into a male P&A show, but that’s me. …and I am all about sharing! ….Now, according to Ing you’re holding nude shots of Benoit! Release ’em, Karyn!!! LOL!

    Lovely Meredith!!!! LOL! I rrrrreally liked this movie! Hope you do, too. I bet the DVD is out in France and maybe the UK. I am sure it will be released to US/Canada within the next several months! I, for one, am buying it!

  6. ing replied:

    Karyn! Please do not hold out on us!

    Nobody in their right mind would consider you unfaithful if you were to release those shots of your boyfriend, least of all me. I won’t tell him, I promise!

    Please hurry.

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