r.i.p. claude chabrol

french film director and critic [telegraph obit]

At this time he began to associate with film buffs at the Cinémathèque Française in the Avenue de Messina and at the Ciné-Club des Quartiers Latins, where they chewed the fat and argued over the finer points of film technique. The “gang”, all of whom became film-makers in their own right, included Eric Rohmer, Jacques Rivette, Jean-Luc Godard and François Truffaut.

They were all of a similar mind and began to write regularly for the film magazine Cahiers du Cinéma, founded in 1950 by the critic and theorist André Bazin. Chabrol contributed pieces under his own name and as Charles Eitel and Jean-Yves Goute (the latter incorporating his wife’s maiden name). Between them they developed a philosophy of cinema eventually labelled the politique des auteurs, arguing that no film should be judged in isolation but in the context of its director’s previous work and of the conventions of its genre.

Impersonal French films of the time were dismissed in favour of what they regarded as the more individual ones of Roberto Rossellini, Carl Dreyer and Fritz Lang and of a whole slate of Hollywood film-makers hitherto barely taken seriously, such as Howard Hawks, Nicholas Ray and Otto Preminger.


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