The Bridesmaid (La demoiselle d’honneur)
Directed by Claude Chabrol with Benoît Magimel, Laura Smet, Aurore Clément
2004, France Chabrol’s distinctly deliberate, unnerving directorial style realizes a late-career high point in The Bridesmaid, his 54th feature and among the final films completed before his death last year. It’s love at first sight when handsome young Philippe (Magimel) meets bridesmaid Senta (Smet, daughter of actress Nathalie Baye and French rock idol Johnny Hallyday) at his sister’s wedding. Senta’s strange allure and mysterious past become ever more disturbing as passion escalates into obsession and the affair between Chabrol’s typically amoral, “poisonous bourgeois characters” (Terrence Rafferty) grows increasingly dark.
“In the chilling and brilliant The Bridesmaid… opening doors help the hero, Philippe, along the journey into fear he finds himself taking with the fabulous Senta ... Let's just say it's a movie about doors that open by themselves, and these doors are of course another metaphor for cinema... Chabrol, like Lang, was a director for whom there are secrets behind doors.” —Chris Fujiwara, Moving Image Source
Based on a novel by Ruth Rendell, “the best mystery writer in the English-speaking world” (Time Magazine), whose work was also the source for Chabrol’s celebrated La cérémonie (1995). The Paramount’s Claude Chabrol program supplements and screens along with The Murderous Art of Claude Chabrol, a retrospective taking place at the Harvard Film Archive March 11-27.
March 25 @ 7pm
March 26 @ 9:15pm
Bright Family Screening Room
$10. $7.50 for Members. $5 for Students.
In French with English subtitles