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Studying French Cinema$
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Sarah Perks, Isabelle Vanderschelden, and Andy Willis

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781906733162

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781906733162.001.0001

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New Wave Legacy and the French Auteur

New Wave Legacy and the French Auteur

(p.73) Chapter Three: New Wave Legacy and the French Auteur
Studying French Cinema

Isabelle Vanderschelden

Liverpool University Press

This chapter focuses on Claude Chabrol, who occupies a special place in contemporary French cinema. He established himself during the New Wave alongside François Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard. In the new millennium, Chabrol remains a prolific director with a distinctive aesthetic signature, but also a pragmatic approach to film-making. Irrespective of the charge made by many of the uneven quality in his extensive filmography, Chabrol is the archetype of the French 'auteur' as the term has come to be understood today: a director with a personal vision, recognisable style, and identifiable motifs. Le Boucher/The Butcher (1969) remains to this day one of his best-known films, often described as a masterpiece. It is the third of a series of dramas referred to as the 'Hélène cycle'. These films point to Chabrol's independent but concerted production model over that period, as well as the thematic and formal coherence of the cycle.

Keywords:   Claude Chabrol, contemporary French cinema, French New Wave, French auteur, Le Boucher, Hélène cycle

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