Made barely a year after Claude Chabrol's debut Le Beau Serge, Les Cousins
featured the earlier film's same starring pair of Jean - Claude Brialy and G érard Blain, here reversing the good - guy/bad - guy roles of the previous picture. The result is a simmering, venomous study in human temperament that not only won the Golden Bear at the 1959 Berlin Film Festival, but also drew audiences in droves, and effectively launched Chabrol's incredible fifty - year - long career.
In Les Cousins
, Blain's character journeys from the country to Paris to crash at the luxurious flat of his worldly and decadent cousin, portrayed by Brialy, during the study period for an upcoming law exam which both have set out to undertake. It becomes clear soon enough that only one of the cousins is terribly committed to his work; as sexual promises and alcohol intervene, the set - up becomes untenable for the provincial, - and a tragic slide ensues.
A gripping and urbane examination of city and country, ambition and ease, Les Cousins
continues to captivate and shock audiences with its brilliant scenario, the performances of Brialy and Blain, and the assuredness of Chabrol's precocious directorial hand. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present Claude Chabrol's breakthrough film in a beautiful new Gaumont restoration on Blu - ray and DVD for the first time in the UK. SPECIAL DVD EDITION:
REVIEWS: " Absorbing"
- Gorgeous new Gaumont restoration of the film in its original aspect ratio
- New and improved English subtitles
- Original theatrical trailer
- A 47 - minute documentary about the making of the film
- L ' Homme qui vendit la Tour Eiffel [ The Man Who Sold the Eiffel Tower] , Chabrol's 1964 short film
- A lengthy booklet with a new and exclusive essay by critic Emmanuel Burdeau; a new and exclusive translation of a rare text about actress Françoise Vatel provided for this release by its author, the filmmaker and critic Luc Moullet; excerpts of interviews and writing by Chabrol; and more.
- Variety Magazine " A fine, richly detailed tableau of student life in Paris, and Chabrol's first statement (in his second film) of his sardonic view of life as a matter of the survival of the fittest. "
- Time Out