If the cinema of Claude Chabrol is anything, it is glib. What could be more glib than that scene in The Third Lover [L'Oeil du Malin] in which the betrayed husband examines some photographs serving as evidence of his wife's infidelity. The shots constitute a gradual progression from indifferent medium shot, the subject squarely and objectively centered within the frame, to oppressively intimate close-up. This is disarmingly glib….
The flexible, functional beauty of this example is modestly intellectual as well as frankly sensational in its appeal. Here is the cinema of basic literacy; Chabrol employs an articulate and correct grammar of film-making. Such exactness of intention and effect...
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