The temps have tipped 70 degrees, and Spring is showing its beauteous potential here in our Northwest. The TFC continues with its April theme of films about men and women, how they struggle to maintain relationships and balance while searching for love and fulfillment. We are proud to be screening a wonderful French film, Claude Chabrol’s LE BOUCHER/THE BUTCHER (1970). This is the companion piece for last week’s Hitchcock, DIAL M FOR MURDER. LE BOUCHER is considered one of Claude Chabrol’s finest film efforts. He had a 50 year career, directing 73 films from 1958-2010. He was one of the founding members, in the late 50’s, of the French New Wave film movement. Like Godard, Truffaut, Rohmer, and Rivette, Chabrol was a film critic for the magazine Cahiers du Cinema. Some of his better known films included LES BICHES (1968), WEDDING IN BLOOD (1973), VIOLETTE (1978) STORY OF WOMEN (1988) and MADAME BOUVARY (1991). In Chabrol thrillers the darker side of human nature begins to intrude gradually before making spectacular and gripping entrance in the last 20 minutes of the film. He was known for his mystery thriller films, but they were characterized by a distanced objectivity.
Chabrol said, “There is no New Wave; only the sea.”
The cinematography was done by Jean Rabier, who has lensed 66 films. He began working with Claude Chabrol in the 60’s, and like the relationship between Alfred Hitchcock and cinematographer Robert Burks, Rabier shot more than 20 of Chabrol’s films.
LE BOUCHER (1970)
Directed by Claude Chabrol @ 93 minutes.
The film stars Stephanie Audran, Jean Yanne, and Antonio Passalia.
Synopsis: A small town butcher meets a haughty school teacher at a wedding, and they strike up a friendship. He would like the relationship to progress, but she remains beyond reach, so he must seek other ways to deal with his misplaced passions.
Tagline: “Which of them was the real monster?”
Roger Ebert wrote, “In most thrillers we have learned to assume that the killer is the villain, and the woman is the victim; perhaps not true in LE BOUCHER.
Trivia: Stephane Audran, married to Chabrol when she filmed this movie, became the trademark thriller Hitchcock blonde for him. Smoking was a key feature. The butcher never lit up his smoke until she did. She smoked like Belmondo, talking and walking with the cigarette dangling, establishing dominance between them.
The film score was written by Pierre Jansen, who has scored 71 films in his career, including most of Chabrol’s films.
Ebert also wrote, “The butcher and the school mistress had a relationship that seemed ordinary, platonic, and uneventful, but it sets terrible engines at work in the hiding places of their beings.”
So mark your calendars and join the Tacoma Film Club this Friday, April 13, 2012 for our screening of Claude Chabrol’s LE BOUCHER (1970). It will be shown at 924 Broadway, in the Pythian Temple, at street level, across the street from the Theater on the Square, in the heart of Tacoma’s Film District. Come about 6:15 p.m. and enjoy the fellowship of we early arrivals. Any one who would like to bring and share finger foods or beverages is certainly welcome to do so. We will be prepared to hand out TFC 2012 membership cards, the John Wayne edition, to those of you who have paid their membership and did not yet receive your card. Of course, new memberships and renewals are welcome too. LE BOUCHER will screen at 7:15 p.m. and it runs 93 minutes, so the film will be over before 10:00 p.m. See you at the movies!