Patrice Chéreau (1944-2013)

patrice-chereauIt has been announced that french director/actor/writer, Patrice Chéreau, died yesterday. Chéreau left behind him a well-respected body of work, including the sumptuous La Reine Margot, starring Isabelle Adjani and Daniel Auteuil – one of the go-to classics of recent French cinema, Those Who Love Me Can Take the Train, the controversial English-language film Intimacy which sparked much debate surrounding the question of unsimulated sex on film, and the fantastic Gabrielle starring Isabelle Hupert and Pascal Gregory.

gabrielle-movie-poster-2005-1020449997Based on the short story, The Return by Joseph Conrad, Gabrielle tells the story of a high-society couple whose relationship, on the night of their 10th anniversary, is thrown into question by the revelation of an infidelity. With minimal dialogue the film manages to be utterly captivating through masterful performances and Chéreau’s incredibly sensitive direction. Much recommended.

posted by Dixie Turner

Recent Additions (Films We Should Have Had Before, But Didn’t):

Amateur

Hal Hartley’s fantastically perverse cult classic tale of misassociation, Amateur (1994), in which an ex-nun-turned-porn writer meets an amnesiac hustler who is in search of his estranged, prostitute, wife.

amat

The film takes its title from the root meaning of the word: ‘one who loves’ – in an interview about this film, Hartley recites a brilliant anecdote about Hitchcock once dismissively calling Charles Laughton an ‘amateur’ (could this have been a response to Laughton’s amazing though patchy noir, Night of the Hunter?), to which Laughton replied: “Well, I love my work…”

Anyway, starring Isabelle Hupert (of course – I mean who else would you cast?) as the ex-nun and Martin Donovan (Weeds).

münchhausenR

A bit of a film-history curiosity in that it was commissioned in 1941 by the Third Reich’s propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels, and has the rather dubious kudos of being generally considered to be Nazi cinema’s greatest fictional achievement… Incredibly impressive special effects, even by today’s standards, and starring Hans Albers – the most popular German actor of his generation, Munchhausen tells the story of the Baron Munchhausen who rode on a cannonball and lived on the moon. If you’ve seen the Terry Gilliam 1988 version, then it’s still worth checking this one out for comparison.

by Dixie Turner