HitS: Diabolique @ Chris & Alyssa's

  • October 4, 2013 · 6:30 PM
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Part of Hidden in the Shadows, a series of overlooked horror films.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzbGtjtfZwA

Diabolique (France, 1955) is my reputation pick for this series (and no, the irony of picking an "overlooked film" on "reputation" isn't lost on me). By that, I mean, I haven't actually seen it myself, but I'm aware of its reputation in film history as a great film. Hitchcock wanted the rights to the novel this is based on, but French Director Henri-George Clouzot (The Wages of Fear) snagged them first. It's now considered an inspiration to Psycho, and Robert Bloch, the author of the novel Psycho, has stated in an interview that he considers Diabolique to be his all-time favorite horror film.

We will be watching the film in the original French language, with English subtitles.


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We'll meet at 6:30pm and give folks time to chit-chat and settle in, and we'll start the film at 7:00pm. The film is 117 minutes long, and as long as we start on time, there should be enough time to make it to The Strand for their 10pm screening of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) (for those inclined for a double feature).

Folks may notice that I've lowered the RSVP limit from previous events at our apartment. I was a bit overly optimistic with how many I could fit here comfortably. If we have a few that, along with my wife and I, are willing to take a less comfortable seat (like a beanbag on the floor), I can bump up the limit by one or two.

All the usual guidelines for food, RSVPs, no-shows, etc. at home events apply. Let me know if you have any questions that aren't covered in that forum post.

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  • Lori-Ann

    I was bored at first because the movie seemed to be going on so long without getting to the "meat" of the story--it seemed like a routine murder story like so many others initially, but then the plot twists started and it got more interesting. I did not see the outcome coming...I didn't know what was going on but didn't guess the outcome. I loved the Columbo character and think it's gross that the director made the actors eat rotten fish!! He would not get away with that today...they would sue or walk off the job I think!

    October 5, 2013

  • Chris T.

    (bah, didn't mean to post that just yet, anyway...)

    1. Vera Clouzot was in fact the director, Henri-George Clouzot's wife. And much like her character, she in fact had a weak heart, and they knew it at the time of filming. She passed away in 1960 of a heart attack.

    2. HG Clouzot really wanted authentic performances on screen, and as such, in scenes like when they're carrying the trunk, they actually had a (living) person inside. And, in the scene where the Principal is forcing everyone to eat the rotten fish, Clouzot actually had rotten fish preparedw hich the actors were forced to eat.

    October 5, 2013

    • David B.

      As Lawrence Olivier said, why not try acting? It's much easier.

      October 5, 2013

    • LynnMarie

      Sometimes those little details make all the difference in the execution of a performance or look of a scene.

      October 5, 2013

  • Chris T.

    While I would have told you I thought it was good immediately after watching, I think my appreciation for this film grows the more I think about it. A lot of the plot felt, well, a bit contrived and unnecessarily convoluted, but on the flip side, the execution was superb. Once aspect that I didn't pick up at the time, but only on retrospection is the way the camera and filming style starts very external, getting more and more internal to Mme Delasalle's (Vera Clouzot) psyche as she continues to lose her grip on reality. In that respect, very similar to Polanski's Repulsion. In fact, it was due to Repulsion that I wasn't sure what tack this film was going to take in terms of what is real, what is not, whether what we're seeing is part of her madness, or if there's actually something supernatural going on, etc.

    October 5, 2013

    • Chris T.

      I also watched one of the special features on the disk this morning, and a couple interesting facts:

      October 5, 2013

  • roni

    Again thanks to Chris & Alyssa, its nice to be out and social. Although I found the plot was very predictable, I think for me the best role was the kid in the corner....

    October 4, 2013

    • LynnMarie

      Yes he was the king of the "timeout" by movie's end.

      October 4, 2013

  • LynnMarie

    Dark and twisted yet compelling thriller (ahead of its time) with effective acting by Vera Clouzot and Paul Meurisse. I also liked the french policeman who must have inspired the "Columbo" character.

    October 4, 2013

  • CherylBene

    I am on my way.....

    October 4, 2013

  • Dan

    I'm gonna jump on the wait list just in case. I really should just go home and hit the sack at 8:00 because I'm getting up at the crack for a day trip to NYC (woo-hoo!), but dammit I feel social and have been wanting to get diabolical lately. In a French sort of way. If nothing opens up, so be it.

    1 · October 4, 2013

    • Chris T.

      Looks like you're on. You know the drill, so I'm not going to bother resending the email I sent folks yesterday. Though, one noteworthy change is that we have a working doorbell now!

      October 4, 2013

    • Dan

      Cool beans! Glad I got on.

      October 4, 2013

  • Veronica M.

    So sorry guys!! I was all set to see this...but life circumstances forbid me. I emailed Chris...Hope the person waiting can get to take my place!

    October 4, 2013

  • Lori-Ann

    By the way, if you do not have a chair near the door I am going to have someone help me take my shoes off!

    October 4, 2013

  • Chris T.

    Based on feedback I've gotten since yesterday, I've upped the attendance limit from six to eight, letting in the two that were on the waitlist. This does mean that we'll need to break out the beanbags, but I think it'll work. And as a friendly reminder, please make sure to update your RSVP if you're not able to make it.

    See you tonight!

    October 4, 2013

  • Chris T.

    I've sent an email out to all the attendees and waitlisters. If you didn't get it, please send an email via the link on my profile page and I'll send the message to you directly: http://www.meetup.com/movies-57...­

    October 3, 2013

  • Veronica M.

    Please place me on the list if there is an opening...Thank you! I thought I had signed up....

    September 28, 2013

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