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Filmmaker Bio


For a director whose 1958 debut, LE BEAU SERGE, is universally recognized as launching the French New Wave a year before Truffaut’s The 400 Blows took Cannes by storm, Claude Chabrol is an exquisitely understated filmmaker. Whether exploring a convoluted ménage à trios in LES BICHES (1968) or having a vengeful postmistress and an illiterate servant blow away a bourgeois family in A JUDGMENT IN STONE (1995), he never takes the audience for granted. Instead, he concentrates on perfectly pitched plots and an unparalleled sense of human psychology to rivet spectators to their seats, refusing to let go until he has inexorably squeezed the last drop of blood or passion from the on-screen situations he consummately choreographs. Chabrol’s mastery of the thriller genre, as well as his rotund physique, has led to inevitable comparisons with Alfred Hitchcock. It is a comparison that the director insists, “is neither entirely fair, nor entirely false”. But unlike Hitchcock, and very much like the fine wines he tastes with undiluted pleasure, Chabrol improves with age. After his critically and commercially acclaimed early years, and his wilderness decade in the 1980s, Chabrol burst back onto the scene with a string of hits in the last ten years - MADAME BOVARY, BETTY, HELL, A JUDGMENT IN STONE, NIGHTCAP - that brought awards at festivals and packed houses in theatres. The common thread of those pictures was a number of strong, alluring roles for some of France’s best actresses, Emmanuelle Béart, Sandrine Bonnaire and Isabelle Huppert. Now with THE BRIDESMAID, adapted from Ruth Rendell’s novel, the director has brought together two brilliant young actors, Benoît Magimel and Laura Smet, to tell a tangled, edgy tale of twisted passion reminiscent of his most accomplished films noirs.



Crime novelist Ruth Rendell was born in London and educated at Loughton County High School, Essex. She is Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and has received many awards for her work, including the Crime Writers' Association Cartier Diamond Dagger (lifetime achievement award), and the Sunday Times Award for Literary Excellence.

She is the author of a series of over 17 novels featuring Detective Chief Inspector Wexford, set in Kingsmarkham, a fictional English town. The first of these, FROM DOON WITH DEATH, is also her first novel and was published in 1964. Books in the series include KISSING THE GUNNER'S DAUGHTER (1992), SIMISOLA (1994), ROAD RAGE (1997), and most recently, END IN TEARS (2005). She also writes novels under the pseudonym Barbara Vine. These books include A DARK-ADAPTED EYE (1986), A FATAL INVERSION (1987), winner of the Crime Writers' Association Macallan Gold Dagger for Fiction, GALLOWGLASS (1990), KING SOLOMON'S CARPET (1991), ASTA'S BOOK (1993) and THE BRIMSTONE WEDDING (1995).

Many of Ruth Rendell's stories have been adapted into feature films, notably Claude Chabrol's LA CÉRÉMONIE (1995), Pedro Almodovar's LIVE FLESH (1997) and Claude Miller's ALIAS BETTY (2001).