Monday, September 20, 2010

C est pour Claude Chabrol, cérémonie et chocolat

C est pour (partie une): Claude Chabrol, cérémonie et chocolat

What a mouthful. Where to start?

If it's about the nouvelle vague then Chabrol. If you're hard-core about your devotion to French New Wave cinema, then you know that Paris-born director Claude Chabrol's film Le beau Serge (1958) is credited with starting the movement. I was totally unaware of that before today. My introduction to Chabrol came earlier this year with a "must-see" recommendation of his 2006 film Merci pour la chocolat. A few weeks ago I saw a film he directed more than 10 years ago: La Ceremonie.

I would describe both films as well as the main characters as enigmatic and distant. For both films it took me a moment to begin understanding who's who and to start unraveling the story and the relationships. Both stories take place within the setting of a family. Yet, I couldn't warm up to the stories, get into them emotionally. I really felt like an observer all the time- held back by an invisible hand. This might have been Chabrol's intention, to hold me back, keep me as a witness or an onlooker.

la cérémonie noun, feminine

a) ceremony; tenue de cérémonie formal dress; (military) dress uniform

b) ceremony, formality; (informal) faire des cérémonies to make a fuss;

sans cérémonie informal reception; to do unceremoniously;

avec cérémonie to do ceremoniously

le chocolat

a) chocolate

b) chocolat chaud hot chocolate, drinking chocolate

looking it up in English yields more results for chocolate:

some chocolate du chocolat / des chocolats (plural)

chocolate cake/sauce gâteau/sauce au chocolat

a chocolate Easter egg un oeuf de Pâques en chocolat

white/dark chocolate chocolat blanc/noir

milk chocolate chocolat au lait

chocolate powder chocolat en poudre

chocolate brown, chocolate-coloured chocolat

-from the online French dictionary compiled by Neil Coffey

Claude Chabrol 24 Juin 1930 - 12 Septembre 2010

La Cérémonie, 1995

The movie is based on the English book A Judgement in Stone by Ruth Rendell

Merci pour la chocolat, 2006

The movie is an adaptation of the American novel The Chocolate Cobweb by Charlotte Armstrong

La photo: On the grounds of the Di Rosa Art Preserve in Napa Valley, California. Juillet 2010.

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