Cineuropa reported last week that octogenarian French filmmaker Claude Chabrol is nearly ready to start shooting his fifty-fourth feature, a unique mystery called Bellamy. While Woody Allen has become the quintessential prolific director, Chabrol, more than a decade his senior, outdoes the whiny nebbish in terms of volume and quality. Chabrol's movies rely heavily on genre, but he tends to constrain the proportions of messy relationship dramas and other unsettling plot trajectories to bring a renewed sense of claustrophobia to familiar territory.

Blending excitement with dread, he has always been simultaneously the most accessible and least forgiving French New Wave auteur. His work is consistently gripping: The urban college thriller Les Cousin(1959) contrasts studious intentions with drunken tomfoolery against a collegiate backdrop, not unlike the modern American frat movie (but a lot scarier). Les Bonnes Femmes(1960) featured a chilling stalker and a brilliantly frightening sequence where a woman nearly drowns in a public swimming pool.
categories Movies, Cinematical