I know I am showing my unbridled ignorance, opening up myself to a large amount of ridicule and am probably destroying what little credibility I’ve earned during my near decade tenure as a film critic, but the recent death of French director Claude Chabrol was like Ultavox’s “Vienna” to me - it meant nothing. I do not know the man personally, I have only the scantest knowledge and interaction with his work, and while I appreciate his place in the foreign film move from Hollywood overkill to a “New Wave” of post-modern perspective, I just can’t get all that worked up about his passing. Again, I am opening myself up for a salvo of salacious dismissals, and for that I am prepared - but it’s the truth.
What I will not tolerate is the tendency for those inside the biz to belittle my stance as anything less than honest. In my life, I have only seen ONE Chabrol film - ONE - and it was the awful 1975 effort Pleasure Party. More catatonic character study than compelling thriller, the supposed Hitchcock of France didn’t wow me with this weak Me Decade effort. Of course, I was harangued for my incredible cruel review, called every manner of name by people who claimed a greater appreciation of Chabrol than I, and in retrospect, probably was a tad too harsh on the otherwise perfectly ordinary title…but just a tad. All I gave was my opinion, not some manner of dogmatic overview.