Thursday, October 28, 2010

Who Said 'Slapstick' Doesn't Go With 'Obit?'

"...I know that you know that I know that you know that aside from alive-and-well French talk show hosts, I already have my fair share of crushes on a fair share of dead guys, but it’s hard not to have a crush on Claude Chabrol. Just ask France – or anybody from here. If Victor Hugo was France’s son, then Claude Chabrol was kinda like France’s uncle, only not in the creepy-sugar daddy-drinking-a-Coke-in-a-bordello kind of way. There’s a saying, or at least the newspaper Libération recently, rightly, righteously, just right the other day, the day right after his death, at the right time, kinda compiled and created one: Chabrol, c’est la France. (Chabrol is France.) When you think of the joyous, jolly, jovial, jubilant bon vivant-cum-cinéaste movie director – and you live in Paris – it’s hard to make the connection between the fun-“here kid, have a dollar”- type of uncle and, well, la France. But if you think about it a moment longer, you kinda get the drift. “La France perd son miroir,” Libé went on to say, in big, bold, black, bold emboldened letters: “France Loses Its Mirror.” And this is where it starts to get interesting.

"The thing about Claude Chabrol’s films is that someone always ends up with a fork in the eye. Or a knife in the back. Or a bullet in the head. That kind of thing. I don’t know if the French stick more knives in each other’s backs or more forks in each other’s eyes or more bullets in each other’s heads than anybody else from any other country, but when you’re watching Chabrol, that’s pretty much how things turn out. Complete with crazy, classically-inspired, it’s-three-o’clock-in-the-morning at the campus radio station-and-the pianist-and-horn-section-just-went-apeshit type of music. Often composed by Chabrol’s son, Mathieu. You know, just to create un peu d’ambiance. The kind of ambiance that makes the rich look, well, bitch..."