Matchbox Cineclub recently presented Claude Chabrol’s Les Noce Rouges (1973), at a special screening introduced by Graeme Macrae Burnet. For the screening I was able to source a trailer for Chabrol’s rarely-seen (indeed, barely made) adaptation of La Disparation d’Adèle Bedeau (see above). An excerpt from Burnet’s afterword to Raymond Brunet’s novel (published by Saraband Books) explains the background in more detail:
“…Claude Chabrol, doyen of the cinematic New Wave of the early 1960s, came across a copy in a secondhand bookshop in Paris. The director was very taken with the novel’s portrayal of provincial life… A script was swiftly written, but French cinema was at that time in thrall to the flashier talent of Luc Besson and Jean-Jacques Beineix, and the downbeat realism of La Disparition d’Adèle Bedeau was hopelessly out of step with the times. It was only when Chabrol passed the script to Isabelle Adjani, star of Subway and One Deadly Summer, that the project got off the ground… The film was a far greater critical and commercial success than the original novel had ever been… Predictably, Brunet hated it.”
Unfortunately, despite its initial success, the film itself remains out of circulation and, barring a solitary 1994 screening on UK television – as part of Antoine de Caunes’ Cinéma Canular season – wholly unseen by British audiences.