French New Wave film director Chabrol dies

Claude Chabrol, one of France’s most eminent film directors and a pioneer of the influential New Wave style that revolutionised French cinema, died on Sunday at the age of 80, the association of film directors said. Chabrol, a close friend of legendary New Wave directors Fran­cois Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard who broke with French cinematic tradition, was a prolific film-maker with some 60 movies to his name, including “Hell” and “The But­cher”. His film Les Cou­sins won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival in 1959. The Aca­da­mie Francaise awarded Cha­brol the Rene Clair Prize in 2005.

Two of his films were also nominated for Canne’s Palme d’Or – Violette in 1978 and Poulet au Vinaigre in 1985. He was born in Paris in 1930 and was a pharmacology student at the University of Paris before deciding to embark on a career in film.

A common theme running through most of his films was the tension between bourgeois repression and the expression of violence often simmering beneath.

News of Chabrol’s death, which was initially announced by a Paris town hall cultural official on his Web page, was greeted with outpourings of regret from France’s cultural world. “Each time that a director disappears, a particular way of looking at the world and an expression of our humanity is lost forever,” France’s Association of Film Directors said in a statement on Chabrol’s passing. (A Reuters and other international reports were used for this story)

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