My Gleanings

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Claude Chabrol --- "Nevertheless, I Shoot"

The following two sections are translated from Claude Chabrol's "Et pourtant je tourne ... " (And Nevertheless, I Shoot ...)

"In France some tried to rise to those heights: L'Herbier, Gance. The great number remained at ground-level with bagatelles that made you laugh or cry. The first French talking film where true talent made itself evident was La Petite Lise by Grémillon in 1930.The critics massacred it and the public ignored it.
Slowly, reputations were made. The respected filmmakers of the pre-War period of the same rank: Duvivier, Carné, Feyder, and Renoir, to which sometimes Grémillon is added. What a motley crew! Duvivier, the average student -- not gifted but conscientious. Carné, a man of talent, who signed, with Prevert's help, good films such as Le Jour se Leve and Les Enfants des Paradis. Feyder, distinctly overrated. He appeared distinguished with an imposing bearing while the others lined gladly up with the proletariat and their cheap red wine. Make no mistake, the only two authentic cineastes were Grémillon and, most of all, Renoir. No one then saw what today is glaring.
" (page 115)

"In 1958 and 1959, I, with my friends at Cahiers, moved into film direction being plugged like a brand of soap. We were "The New Wave". The phrase came from Françoise Giroud, L'Express' editor-in-chief, and one of the most acid pens in opposition to Gaullism, who made a gift of this most "sellable" of slogans to her political adversaries of the time. For, let's not be deceived, if the press spoke as such of us, they wanted to impose the equation: DeGaulle = renewal. In film as elsewhere, the General came, the Republic changed, France was reborn. Look at the flowering of talent. People of intellect blossomed in the shadow of the Cross of Lorraine. " (page 135)

Et pourtant je tourne ... / Claude Chabrol Paris : R. Laffont, c1976.

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