Renowned French filmmaker Claude Chabrol has passed away today aged 80. Beginning his career as a film critic alongside contemporaries Jean-Luc Godard, Jacques Rivette, Eric Rohmer and François Truffaut with the influential French film magazine Cahiers du Cinéma, Chabrol helped to usher in the French New Wave with his self-financed debut feature Le beau Serge in 1959. He followed this up with a series of arthouse films including Les Cousins (1959), Les Bonnes Femmes (1960) and Les Godelureaux (1961) before shifting to more commercial material in the mid-60s such as the spy thrillers Le Tigre aime la chair fraiche (1964) and Le tigre se parfume à la dynamite (1965).
Heavily influenced by acclaimed British director Alfred Hitchcock (he had co-authored the 1957 study Hitchcock alongside Eric Rohmer), Chabrol began to develop his signature “Chabrol-esque” style in a series of Hitchcock-inspired suspense thrillers and critically acclaimed dramas including Le Scandale (1967), Les Biches (1968), La Femme infidèle (1969) and Le Boucher (1970). He was honoured with a Life Achievement Award at the 2003 European Film Awards and continued to enjoy a prolific career spanning half a century, with his final film Bellamy released in 2009.
World Cinema: The French New Wave