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France, 1971 (MIFF 1972)

Director: Claude Chabrol

Claude Chabrol describes Just Before Night as "the story of a man who kills someone, and then finds out he himself is dead". In it, he created a psychological drama which begins when Charles, the central character, strangles his blonde mistress, Laura.

Charles is a home-loving family man of about 45, head of a publicity agency in Paris, and lives in a modern home near Versailles. The house was designed by his best friend, Francois, who is Laura's husband. JIll Charles, sex with Laura has been mystic, frightening experience, contrasting sharply with the spontaneous fun he shares with his wife, Helene. During the affair, Laura dominated him completely with her bizarre desires. At their last meeting, attempting to satisfy her masochistic demands, Charles closed his hand too hard and too long around her throat. Had he done it voluntarily or was it an accident? Charles cannot decide, but his life has become a nightmare of guilt and longing for punishment.

See also...

henri langlois: the phantom of the cinematheque

France, 2004
[Henri Langlois: The Phantom of the Cinematheque] is an absorbing and rewarding tribute to a colossus of French film. One of the co-founders of Cinematheque Francaise, Langlois almost single-handedly… More »


France, 2006
The cinema of the absurd finds new champions in the form of directors Benoît Delépine and Gustave de Kervern. When a deaf-mute dog handler's employer falls victim to his own paranoia, the dog … More »


France, Germany, 2007
“You can sense [Claude] Chabrol's wicked grin behind the camera in every sense… the master shows that he has lost none of his youthful energy.” - Toronto International Film Festival ... En… More »


France, Italy, 1969
The crushed body of a nine-year-old boy is found in a village street, the victim of a hit-and-run driver. His father, a lonely widower of 35, has lost all that was most dear to him. He is an author o… More »


France, 1982
An adaptation of the novel by Georges Simenon, the film is set in La Rochelle, an ancient township in France, where ... you have to pass through narrow, ill-lit streets to get from one shopping area … More »

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