Claude Chabrol

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Claude Chabrol, 2009

Claude Henri Jean Chabrol [ kloːd ʃaˈbʀɔl ] (born June 24, 1930 in Paris ; † September 12, 2010 ibid) was a French film director , screenwriter , film producer and actor . He was one of the important directors of the Nouvelle Vague and known for his socially critical films about the French bourgeoisie . Influenced by Alfred Hitchcock , he portrayed the cryptic and ambiguous in many of his films in an ironic and detached way.

life and work

Claude Chabrol came from a long-established family of pharmacists. He grew up with his grandparents in the central French village of Sardent ( Département Creuse , Limousin region ). At the age of thirteen he founded a film club in a village barn. After the end of the Second World War he returned to Paris, attended high school and studied literature at the Sorbonne . After passing the state examination, he was briefly enrolled in law and pharmacy . At the same time , he regularly attended the Cinémathèque française and the cineastes circle in the Parisian "Café de la Comédie", which was founded by André Bazin . Together with Éric Rohmer , he wrote a monograph on his film role model Alfred Hitchcock in 1956 , the world's first Hitchcock monograph. In the late 1950s he became a film critic for the Cahiers du cinéma . Chabrol eventually dropped out and initially worked in the press department of 20th Century Fox in Paris.

Although his parents prevented him from attending the Paris Film School ( IDHEC ) and he was never able to gain experience as an assistant director , he presented his first directorial work, Die Enttäuschten , at the Locarno Film Festival in 1958 . The location was the village of his childhood and youth. With an inheritance and the proceeds from his second film, Scream, If You Can (1958), he was able to set up his own production company AJYM (the name is an acronym formed from the initials of the first names of his first wife and both sons). She also produced the first works by Éric Rohmer, Philippe de Broca and Jacques Rivette .

His first wife, Agnès Goute, “came from a wealthy family, and we basically did nothing other than throw decadent parties. When she inherited her grandmother, we didn't even know what to do with the money. ”In 1957, Chabrol decided to do a film work“ to spend at least part of the money ”. He regretted the unexpected success of the film, because it meant that he was “forced” to continue filming. This marriage (1952–1964) was the result of the sons Jean-Yves (* 1954, architect) and Matthieu Chabrol (* 1956), who, as a musician and composer, composed the music for some of his father's films. In his second marriage (1964–1980) Chabrol was married to the actress Stéphane Audran ; their son, the actor Thomas Chabrol , also appeared in his father's films, such as Betty . In 1983 he married Aurore Pajot, who used to work as a "script girl" or script supervisor and who often accompanied her husband on filming . Chabrol was an avowed Maoist and known as a gourmet and workaholic . In 1989 he was voted " Pipe Smoker of the Year ". Chabrol described himself as a feminist, among other things he made this clear by the appreciation of his wives: “With every marriage there was a surprise. My first wife had a lot of money that I didn't know before. The second suddenly turned out to be a gifted actress. And the third turned out to be the most wonderful wife, who also cooks wonderfully, and that is the greatest happiness of my life. "

In order to keep his film team, which he also regarded as his extended family, in a good mood, he always went to filming locations where a good restaurant could also be reached.

He shared an intensive working relationship with the composer Pierre Jansen , who composed the music for 30 of his films, and the character actress Isabelle Huppert , who appeared in seven of his best films: “Chabrol knows me better than anyone. We don't need miles of conversation. We understand each other even without words. "

Chabrol has filmed works by Henry James , Cornell Woolrich, Flaubert , Henry Miller , Patricia Highsmith , Ellery Queen and Simenon , as well as Fantomas . The French bourgeoisie was his favorite domain: Using filmic means he dissected the relationship of the bourgeoisie to money and power, depicting their intrigues , their decadence and their lust. Even more so, the middle-class middle class, which works on the externally determined or self-imposed desires and demands, on the desired self-image, until self-confidence crumbles and is punished with obsessions and pathologies.

Gravestone in the Pere Lachaise cemetery

Chabrol was popular with colleagues for his “witty” and “contagious joke”, with which he “relaxed” ideological-aesthetic debates at the Cinémathèque française , as Volker Schlöndorff observed. For Hanns Zischler he was “a very warm person and very entertaining. He was able to spread an extraordinarily good mood. ”He also doesn't know anyone who has seen so many films and was able to speak enthusiastically about so many films as Chabrol.

In 2000, Chabrol was a member of the jury at the Venice International Film Festival . A great admirer of Chabrol's film art was the German filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder , who analyzed Chabrol's films in 1975 in an essay , but also criticized them. Occasionally, Chabrol appeared as an actor in films by colleagues.

Claude Chabrol was buried in the Père-Lachaise cemetery in Paris.



Scripts for films by other directors

  • 1988: Inspector Lavardin: The devil in the city (Les dossiers de l'inspecteur Lavardin: Le diable en ville)
  • 2002: Untreu (Unfaithful) - Director: Adrian Lyne - (based on Chabrol's screenplay for "Die unfaithful" from 1968)

Performances as a performer

  • 1966: Brigitte and Brigitte (Brigitte et Brigitte) - Director: Luc Moullet
  • 1977: A Crazy Guy (L'Animal) - Director: Claude Zidi
  • 1983: Polar - Under the Shadow Line (Polar) - Director: Jacques Bral
  • 1985: A Day in Paris (Suivez mon regard) - Director: Jean Curtelin
  • 1987: All the little birds are already there (Alouette, je te plumerai) - Director: Pierre Zucca
  • 1991: La femme normal (Sam Suffit) - Director: Virginie Thévenet
  • 1993: Hotel de Suède, room 12 - On the trail of “Out of breath” - Direction: Claude Ventura, Xavier Villetard
  • 2010: Gainsbourg - The man who loved women (Gainsbourg - Vie héroïque) - Director: Joann Sfar
  • 2018: The Other Side of the Wind [shot in the early 1970s] - directed by Orson Welles


Chabrol at the Festival international du film d'Amiens , 2008

Literature (excerpt)


  • Getting Away with Murder, or The Childhood of Claude Chabrol. TV documentary, UK, 1978, written and directed by Alan Yentob , produced by BBC , London.
  • Claude Chabrol - My first film . (OT: Claude Chabrol. Mon premier film. ) TV documentary, France, 2003, 52 min., Script and director: Francis Girod , production: arte France, Artline, German first broadcast: December 7, 2003, film data from IMDb .
  • The world of Claude Chabrol. TV documentary, Germany, 2003, 30 min., Director: Eckhart Schmidt , production: Raphaela-Film, synopsis by ARD .
  • Claude Chabrol, filmmaker of the silent scandal. (OT: Chabrol, l'anticonformiste. ) Documentary, France, 2011, 56:64 min., Script and direction: Cécile Maistre-Chabrol, production: Plan B et Compagnie, INA , arte France, first broadcast: February 17, 2019 at arte, table of contents by ARD , online video available until April 17, 2019.

Web links

Commons : Claude Chabrol  - Collection of Images, Videos and Audio Files

Press article

Individual evidence

  1. a b c Simon Ofenloch: The innocent with dirty hands - Claude Chabrol. ( Memento from April 18, 2013 in the web archive ). In: arte , May 2010.
  2. ^ Filmmaker Claude Chabrol has died. In: . September 12, 2010, accessed September 12, 2010 .
  3. a b dpa , AFP : “He knew how to laugh.” In: Zeit online , September 13, 2010.
  4. a b c biography. The merciless chronicler of bourgeois sins. ( Memento from April 18, 2013 in the web archive ). In: arte / .
  5. a b Susan Vahabzadeh: Claude Chabrol on the 80th: Harmonic misfortune. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung , June 24, 2010.
  6. Claude Chabrol biography at Who's Who .
  7. a b Suzanne Déglon Scholer: Claude Chabrol à la Cinémathèque suisse. ( Memento of November 13, 2008 in the Internet Archive ). In: , December 4, 2007, biography and interview, French, (PDF; 11 p., 502 kB).
  8. ^ A b c Marco Schmidt: Are you a feminist, Monsieur Chabrol? In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , July 21, 2007, No. 16, p. Z6, interview with Claude Chabrol.
  9. a b APA : Claude Chabrol: "I've always been lucky with my wives". In: Die Standard , July 1, 2009.
  10. a b ap : French director celebrates his birthday. Claude Chabrol: 75 and not a bit dear. In: Rheinische Post , June 20, 2005.
  11. a b c Birgit Roschy: On the death of the film director Claude Chabrol. In: Schwäbisches Tagblatt , September 13, 2010.
    Interview with Roger Ebert : Flashback: Chabrol and Ebert talk in 1971. ( Memento from May 27, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) In: Chicago Sun-Times , January 24, 1971.
    Chabrol: I. am a Communist, certainly, but that doesn't mean I have to make films about the wheat harvest. (Translation: "I'm a communist, of course, but that doesn't mean I have to make films about the wheat harvest.")
  12. “Total exception”. Berlinale boss Kosslick pays tribute to Claude Chabrol as a filmmaker and gourmet. In: Deutschlandradio , September 12, 2010.
  13. ^ Wilhelm Roth ( epd ): On the death of Claude Chabrol: the astute critic. ( Memento from July 31, 2013 in the Internet Archive ). In: Badische Zeitung , September 13, 2010.
  14. Fritz Göttler: The Evil Eye - On the death of the filmmaker Claude Chabrol. ( Memento of March 4, 2016 in the Internet Archive ). In: Süddeutsche Zeitung , September 13, 2010.
  15. Gérard Depardieu in: He knew how to laugh. In: Die Zeit , September 13, 2010.
  16. “Surprise me!” Volker Schlöndorff mourns the loss of Claude Chabrol. In: Tagesspiegel , September 12, 2010.
  17. a b Wenke Husmann, Carolin Ströbele: Pictures that can't get out of my head. In: Die Zeit , September 13, 2010, interview with Hanns Zischler.
  18. Photos: The grave of Claude Chabrol. In: .
  19. Awards of the Berlinale 2009 , accessed February 19, 2019.
  20. Chabrol, Claude. In: .
      Getting Away with Murder. In: British Film Institute (BFI).