Le boucher [1970]

15Mar12 – 2 – Le boucher (Claude Chabrol: 1970)

Think what you want of me, but I just don’t like Claude Chabrol’s movies. At all. LE BOUCHER (1970) is a psychological thriller slasher flick that is a cheap looking, badly acted, atrociously written mess that has the look and feel of a low budget, made-for-TV-movie of the early ’70s. But there is Stéphane Audran, whose narcotized dykey glamour as Hélène, the efficient smalltown school headmistress, does keep you watching. Shockingly, she not only smokes in the street (“Fumez

 à la rue?” she’s asked by her shocked would be suitor), but she *chain* smokes. Gauloises. There is a certain fascination in watching her stick a cigarette in her mouth, light it, and smoke it without ever touching the cigarette with her hands again until she puts it out. This is seen at its best in an *endless* take (4 minutes? 5 minutes? longer?) of her and the butcher of the film’s title walking from a wedding reception to the schoolhouse where she works and lives. (It’s about 15 minutes into the film in case you’re interested.) You’re mentally begging her to touch that goddamned cigarette! Now! But she doesn’t. Are we supposed to be reminded of Humphrey Bogart? Jean-Paul Belmondo? And why? Oh, I did often wonder if pudgy Jean Yann could possibly *wear* tighter pants and still breathe. This is one of Roger Ebert’s Great Movies? 2/10. [3/15/12]

One comment

  1. […] Guitar is on the line”) and because Jean Yann wore clothes that fit (in my review of Le boucher, a movie I hated, I wrote: “Oh, I did often wonder if pudgy Jean Yann could possibly wear […]


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