Chicken and vinegar
That’s Sandrine Bonnaire above, one of the dozens of excellent photo portraits by Patrick Aufauvre and Arnaud Baumann on display here. A few weeks ago the book publisher sent me the galleys of Fan-Tan, the “new” novel by Marlon Brando and Donald Cammell. Due to hit the bookstores in early September, it’s under three hundred pages. Yet, I’m struggling. Brando was a fine actor. And Cammell, on the grounds of Performance alone, was a gifted filmmaker. But this novel…what a chore. Imagine sitting through a six-hour cut of The Appaloosa. I don’t know if I’ll ever get around to writing a review… Finally out on DVD, Claude Chabrol’s Poulet au vinaigre (1985), under the title Cop au vin. Non-fans will probably be nonplussed, but I think that it’s a small treasure. Shot during one of his aesthetic dry spells, Chabrol collaborated with novelist Dominique Roulet to bring her detective character, Inspecteur Jean Lavardin, to the screen. Made in the era of Columbo and Murder, She Wrote, Poulet au vinaigre comes complete with a terrific cast (including Stéphane Audran, Michel Bouquet, the stunning Pauline Lafont, and Chabrol regulars Henri Attal and Dominique Zardi) and assorted movie references (Psycho and Ten Days’ Wonder especially). As usual, the director couldn’t care less about the story, the mystery or the MacGuffin. He just loves watching people consume food…and each other. Jean Poiret plays Lavardin, a vile response to Peter Falk and Angela Lansbury, a man with no regard for civil rights or search warrants, who believes that hostility will get him the answers he needs. Yes, this movie is a comedy…maybe.