With his contemporaries Jean-Luc Godard, Jacques Rivette, François Truffaut and Éric Rohmer, Claude Chabrol was a critic for Cahiers du cinéma before becoming the first of them to make a movie. As a member of the French New Wave (nouvelle vague) group of filmmakers, he claimed to be “seized by the demon of cinema,” which led to him writing about film and championing directors. But now, he was making his own art, starting with the Hitchcock-influenced Le Beau Serge.
Known for his thrillers — a genre that had obsessed him since he was a teen — and particularly adored Hitchcock, writing a book with Rohmer on his work. On the set of To Catch a Thief, Chabrol and Truffaut got the opportunity to speak with the director and were so starstruck that they walked right into a water tank, leading Hitchcock to say that even when the two were a success, he always saw them as “ice cubes in a glass of whiskey.”
The most prolific of the New Wave directors, Chabrol averaged almost a film a year. Unlike them, his early films may have been experimental, but he moved on to making mainstream movies, although they still come from his personal vision. Beyond Hitchcock, he claimed that Murnau, Ernst Lubitsch and Fritz Lang were his other influences.
Arrow Video’s Lies And Deceit: Five Films By Claude Chabrol collected five high definitions (1080p) blu ray versions of his movies, along with new 4K restorations of Madame Bovary, Betty and Torment. Each movie has an introduction by film scholar Joël Magny and select scene commentaries by Chabrol. Additionally, there’s an 80-page collector’s booklet of new writing by film critics Martyn Conterio, Kat Ellinger, Philip Kemp and Sam Wigley, trailers and image galleries for each movie and limited edition packaging with newly commissioned artwork by Tony Stella.
From Cop Au Vin and Inspector Lavardin to Madame Bovary, Betty and Torment, this set has given me an incredible glimpse into the director and opened my mind up to seeing more of his films. Which is great, because Arrow plans on releasing Twisting the Knife in April, a second set that includes The Swindle, The Color of Lies, Nightcap and The Flower of Evil.
You can order this set from MVD.