In 1976, Claude Chabrol made a special appearance at the Los Angeles Film Exposition (FILMEX). A friend tipped me off that he was staying at the Century Plaza Hotel, and that if I hung out in the lobby I was likely to run into him there.
The tip paid off. I met Chabrol in the lobby, and found him to be an extremely sociable man, very happy to talk about his own films and others’.
We spent some time talking about Fritz Lang, one of Chabrol’s idols. One of Chabrol’s favorite films was Lang’s two-part Indian Epic (The Tiger of Eschnapur and The Indian Tomb), a film that Chabrol thought had been unfairly dismissed by critics who could only write about the alleged stupidity of the story while completely overlooking what made the film great, the intelligence of its visuals.
Chabrol had directed the metaphysical fantasy, Alice ou la Dernière Fugue, with Lang in mind. He said that if the film turned out okay, he planned to dedicate it to Lang. The end result did please Chabrol, and he dedicated the film accordingly.
I mentioned that one of my favorite Chabrol films was La Rupture, starring Chabrol’s former spouse, Stéphane Audran (below). Chabrol’s response? “J’adore La Rupture!”