Three things to know about… Madame Bovary

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Madame Bovary by Claude Chabrol

Gustave Flaubert and Claude Chabrol are in the spotlight this evening on Arte.

At 9 p.m., the 7th channel will rebroadcast Madame Bovary, the adaptation of Gustave Flaubert’s classic by Claude Chabrol, in 1991, with Isabelle Huppert in the main role, then a documentary on the lawsuit brought against the author, in 1857 “for insulting public morals and religion”.

The 11th adaptation of Flaubert’s work

Emma Bovary, a peasant’s daughter, marries a health officer. Idealist and romantic, she quickly loses her illusions of happiness in the face of the rudeness of the Norman petty bourgeoisie and becomes the mistress of a gentleman from the neighborhood who abandons her, then of a clerk of a notary … Imagined by Gustave Flaubert in 1857, this classic of French literature very early on seduced the big screen, in Europe and across the Atlantic. The American Albert Ray was the first to bring it to the screen with Unholy love. Then over the years, we have seen Jean Renoir (with Valentine Tessier in the title role, in 1933), Vincente Minelli (with, starring, Jennifer Jones, in 1949) or even Alexandre Sokourov (Save and protect in 1989) to do so. Just as David Lean was very freely inspired by it to Ryan’s Daughter in 1970. In 1991, when he came out of two big public and critical failures Quiet days in Clichy and Doctor M, Claude Chabrol tackled in turn this monument and found the road to success with more than 1.2 million admissions.

Chabrol between betrayal and absolute respect

A fine chronicler of the French bourgeoisie, Claude Chabrol was obviously at ease like a fish in water with Madame Bovary. He also said at the time that he wanted to go as far as possible in fidelity to the novel and make the style of this heritage work heard as closely as possible. With one exception: the very beginning of the plot centered on Charles Bovary that the filmmaker has chosen to cut outright so that the viewer can meet Emma as quickly as possible.

Claude Chabrol- Isabelle Huppert, third

Claude Chabrol is an essential filmmaker in Isabelle Huppert’s career. If she made her film debut in 1971, she did indeed acquire star status when he directed her in Violette Nozière which earned her her first acting prize at Cannes in 1978. Then when the actress knew the only (short) crossing of her career in France between 1985 and 1988, it was again Chabrol who relaunched her with A women’s affair. From then on, the tandem will regularly team up. With Madame Bovary so then Ceremony, Nothing goes, Thank you for the chocolate and Drunkenness of power, their last meeting in 2006

Chabrol-Huppert, happy connections

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