The world has lost two of the most important filmmakers of our time in less than a year today. First Eric Rohmer on January 11th, 2010, and yesterday, September 12th, 2010, Claude Chabrol.
Born on June 24, 1930, in Paris, France, Mr. Chabrol was one of the founders of the so called ‘French New Wave Movement’ along with his literary partners on the French Film Magazine Cashiers du Cinema; Jean Luc Godard, Francois Truffaut, and Jacques Rivette, among others.
Inspired by German Expressionism, Existentialism, stroboscopic lighting, Surrealism, Freudian psychology, poetic devices, long takes, cutting not on action but shooting for the coverage of aesthetic, the jump cut, and more, French New Wave, with the help filmmakers including Claude Chabrol, elevated the craft of cinema to greater heights of its art, and ushered in the auteur theory stronger than ever, where the director and their style is king, not necessarily the story. This style paved the way for American filmmakers to become more daring and creative in their work, and demand and often get greater artistic license.
With over one hundred film and video credits to his name, Claude Chabrol gave cinemaphiles good reason to consider him a master, with his magnificent works including “Madame Bovary,’ ‘High Heels,’ and ‘Les Biches,’ among many, many more. A master of mystery, storytelling, and light through the art of film, the wonder of Claude Chabrol; actor, music producer, and above all, legendary writer and director, worked his magic up until the last days of his life this year at eighty. His legacy remains, and today the world of cinema mourns.