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Violette Nozière, June 24

Isabelle Huppert: Passion and Contradiction

Saturday, June 24, 2006
8:30 p.m. Violette Nozière
Claude Chabrol (France, 1978)

A classic long unseen in North America, Violette Nozière helped make Isabelle Huppert an international star when she won the Best Actress award at Cannes. Chabrol was fascinated by the true story of Violette, the teenager who became famous in the thirties for poisoning her parents and then pleading that her father had raped her. Chabrol masterfully evokes the stifling social and domestic world of his latter-day Madame Bovary. Living a double life—chaste and dutiful in the dim apartment of her religious parents, painted and vivacious in her nocturnal forays into Left Bank cafes and hotel rooms—Violette dreams of an unconstrained life, and contracts syphilis in her determination to achieve it. Critics hailed Violette as one of Chabrol's greatest achievements, and agreed that he had never directed actors with such authority.

—James Quandt, Cinematheque Ontario

• Written by Odile Barski, Hervé Bromberger, Frédéric Grendel, from a book by Jean-Marie Fitère. Photographed by Jean Rabier. With Isabelle Huppert, Stéphane Audran, Jean Carmet, Jean-François Garreaud. (122 mins, In French with English subtitles, Color, 35mm)