A book by Antoine de Baecque
15cm x 24cm | 624 pages
Claude Chabrol is a filmmaker who is both famous and unknown. He was, until his death in September 2010, a public figure for half a century and he, of himself, fashioned a portrait of a gourmet, joyful or sarcastic bon vivant. It attracted nearly fifty million spectators to French cinemas – not many of them can say the same. However, his proliferating work – fifty-seven films, twenty-three television films – never allowed Chabrol to enter the cultural pantheon of French cinema. No César, no prize at the Cannes Film Festival. It is therefore necessary to rediscover Chabrol, immense director, author of a work, of course uneven, but much deeper and more coherent than his reputation would have it.
Claude Chabrol loved interviews; he talked about himself, his work and his films better than anyone, in a fair and subtle way, without blinding himself or sending himself flowers. Far from any narcissism and any mythomania, he always wanted to tell the truth. For a biographer, these confessions form a treasure. “I have three masks, he said, behind which I hide. First the mask of a bon vivant, then that of the rigorous old man, finally that of the intellectual. By reconstructing these three Chabrols, by weaving these three threads together, this biography draws a portrait of France over three quarters of a century. Chabrol filmed his "human comedy", as he had the ambition with regard to his masters and alter ego, Balzac, Flaubert, Maupassant, Simenon.