On directing > There is only the sea | Claude Chabrol


Claude Chabrol, 1960


"First I went to the Sorbonne to do my licence en lettres, but I also started to study law."

"My father wanted me to be a pharmacist like himself. He had been a doctor, but he no longer
 believed in medicine; so he became a pharmacist, but he believed in that hardly more."

"I love mirrors. They let one pass through the surface of things."

"There was one thing which I thought was tremendous fun, namely finding
as many angles as possible within the confines of a single room."

"Laying tracks gives you freedom without being too obvious."


Claude Chabrol (in the mirror) in Les Godelureaux, 1961


"You make a film to distract people, to interest them, perhaps to make them think, perhaps to help them be a little less naive,
a little better than they were."

"It's often wrong to write for specific actors because one ends up using what is least interesting
about them, their mannerisms and habits. I prefer not to write for specific people."

"To observe a profoundly stupid individual can be very enriching, and that's why we should never feel contempt for them."

"I wanted to make a film about stupid people that was very vulgar and deeply stupid. From
that moment on I can hardly be reproached for making a film that is about stupid people."

"Stupidity is infinitely more fascinating that intelligence. Intelligence has its limits while stupidity has none."


Claude Chabrol with directors Jean-Pierre Melville and Jean-Luc Godard at the Nouvelle Vague's 
Trial Between Directors Roger Vadim and François Truffaut, in Paris, France, in January 1962


"There's one thing which I hate about color films... people who use up a lot of their despairing producer's money
by working in the laboratory to bring out the dominant hues, or to make color films where there isn't any color."

"Some colors are very difficult to render, and you must compensate to get the color you want on the screen."

"I like making black and white films in natural surroundings, but I much prefer
shooting a color film inside a studio where the colors are easier to control."

"I like to have the screen full of color, twenty colors on the screen at once, fifty colors. There are no dominants despite what people have said."


Claude Chabrol in Les Bonnes Femmes, 1960


"A woman is subject matter enough."

"A woman confronting men is a proper subject, it is inexhaustible."

"As far as I was concerned, either I was a homosexual or I wasn't, so making films would change nothing."


Claude Chabrol and Jean-Luc Godard on the set of Breathless, 1960


"You have to accept the fact that sometimes you are the pigeon, and sometimes you are the statue."

"I am a Communist, certainly, but that doesn't mean I have to make films about the wheat harvest."

"I'm not pessimistic about people in general, but only about the way they live."

"There is no new wave, only the sea."


Claude Chabrol

Chabrol in Jacques Rivette's, Le coup du berger, 1956


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