Sunday, 10 August 2008

Le Boucher

At the start of summer a friend lent me a handful of french films to watch so I could practice my french. We watched the first, Le Doulos starring Jean-Paul Belmondo a while ago. To be honest, I didn't think much of it but that's probably because I found it rather hard to understand and follow.

Today I watched another - this time Le Boucher directed by Claude Chabrol and starring Jean Yanne and Stéphane Audran. Wow! What a tense little film. I wasn't at all surprised when I read that Chabrol has been described as the french Hitchcock. I will definitely have to keep an eye out for more of his films. He seems like my kind of director. The dialogue was pretty easy to follow too and the scenes of french village life in the late 60s were really cool. And I was really amazed by the performance of Jean Yanne - what a great actor he was (I was sorry to read he died in 2003). Not to mention that he looks a little bit like my doctor!

In all, its been a big movie weekend as I sent David off to get a DVD the other night and he came back with Pan's Labyrinth. I'd been avoiding hiring this, despite being really keen to see it, as its only available in spanish with french subtitles or french with no subtitles. So we watched it in french and it wasn't too hard to understand either (or maybe I'm getting a bit better!). Disturbing film though. I loved the fantasy storyline but the sadistic torture scenes were just unwatchable.

Next up to watch is Pierrot Le Fou. I really am trying to like Jean-Paul Belmondo but so far I haven't thought much of him in the two films of his that I've seen. Let's see if this one changes my mind...


Le Tigre in France said...

I've been meaning to see Pans Labrynth for ages now too!

I'm so excited you're going to watch Pierrot Le Fou. It's beautiful and strange and I just love it. It was the movie that actually changed my opinion of Belmondo in fact!

If you want to try some other Godards I think Le Mepris (which has Brigitte Bardot) and Bande a Part are really masterpieces and they follow a more direct linear narrative than the others.

Our Juicy Life said...

Pans is so wonderful...we saw it in English of course.
I have never seen Pierrot Le Fou.
We just ordered the French Channel here in Los Angeles, so we can watch french tv. It's great, even to just have it on in the background.

Zhu said...

Did you have a chance to see any comedy? That's what I think French do best.

Penny said...

Le Tigre - I'm halfway through Pierrot le Fou - just have to find a quiet moment to watch the rest. Will have a look for those others

Juicy - wont be long and you will have all the french TV you need!

Zhu - I've seen a few (back in Australia with subtitles) but nothing recently. I agree - I really like french comedies but I'm a sucker for a good policier!

Grominou said...

I loved Pan's Labyrinth -- I saw the original spanish version with French subtitles. I thought it was going to be a horror movie, but the more disturbing scenes ended up being in the realistic scenes! Sergi Lopez was great as the sadistic facist officer.

Anonymous said...

If you enjoy thrillers you should watch the film "Ne le dis à Personne" (Tell no one) - a gripping French thriller that also bizarrely stars a French speaking Kristen Scott Thomas. Nothing too violent and lots of good twists. My in-laws bought it for us a few months back with English subtitles and we loved it. Happy watching!

Penny said...

ooh thanks Anonymous for the recommendation! That sounds like just my thing - I'll have a look for it at the video store :)