FILMS by Freda Bruce Lockhart
FOR over two years, since I first saw Chabrol's "Le Boucher," I have been proclaiming it my favourite new film. It also convinced me, after. several years' hesitation. that Chabrol was indeed the most splendid contemporary French film-maker.
Only. perhaps, by such standards the new Chabrol Ten Days' Wonder "X", Academy One) comes as a disappointment. Not, of course, that it is technically or visually less expert and polished than half a dozen earlier Chabrols.
Rabier's lovely camera work makes the stately Alsace home of the millionaire (Orson Welles) richly desirable; but the movie's content, its action. seems not so much to grow out of its setting, or even out of Chabrol's acknowledged devotion to the thrillers of Hitchcock. as to be contrived,
presumably frOm Eller Queen's original story.
With two American stars, Orson Welles and Anthony Perkins (as the millionaire's adopted son), and two French (Marlene Jobert) as his young wife, and Michel Piccoli), this is Chabrol uprooted from his natural habitat into the in
t ernational, ex-Hollywood, never-never land of the commercial cinema.
The very story provides one of those artificial episodic frameworks (a story a day to each commandment) which rarely integrate into a movie whole. The millionaire's
adopted son suffers from black-outs, and calls upon his former professor of philosophy to help him trace their cause, also disclosing that he and his stepmother are 'having an affair
and being mysteriously blackmailed for it.
Probably the cast of Hopkins as the son, who comes round from his black-outs with bloodstained hands and no memory. is a tributary hark
back to Hitchcok's "Psycho".
John Boorman's Deliverance Vilmos Szigmond, a thrilling ("X", Warner Rendezvous) is an undoubtedly powerful concoction of motives which seem as weirdly mixed as the witches' brew in "Macbeth."
As the spectacular account of a canoe-trip by four American men down the wild
Chattooga river it is superbly, stunningly photographed by spectacle of shooting the rapids through swirling dark waters and snow-clouds of spray.
What exact message is intended by this allegorical adventure, beyond the thinness of the wall which separates so called civilisation from barbarism and bestiality, is not quite clear. But 'Deliverance" is undoubtedly a powerful and spectacular film.
Their truly horrific encounter with two depraved "mountain men" in the Appalachians which provokes one of ' the canoeists (Burt Reynolds) to murder is too beastly to be, if not true, plausible.