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Les Biches
Les Biches
Actors: Jean-Louis Trintignant, Jacqueline Sassard, Stéphane Audran, Nane Germon, Serge Bento
Director: Claude Chabrol
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
R     2003     1hr 40min

Directed by Claude Chabrol, Les Biches is a landmark in film history: its theme of bisexuality and upper-class decadence is surpassed only by its cool precision of cinematic style and exceptionally subtle performances. So...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Jean-Louis Trintignant, Jacqueline Sassard, Stéphane Audran, Nane Germon, Serge Bento
Director: Claude Chabrol
Creators: Claude Chabrol, Jean Rabier, Jacques Gaillard, André Génovès, Paul Gégauff
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Love & Romance, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Jack H. Harris Enterprises
Format: DVD - Color - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 05/20/2003
Original Release Date: 09/26/1968
Theatrical Release Date: 09/26/1968
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 40min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 7
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: French
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

A beautiful movie full of woman-to-woman sexual intensity
(5 out of 5 stars)

"A beautiful movie full of sexual intensity. The movie revolvesaround the lesbian relationship of a wealthty french woman(StéphaneAudran) and a street artist who becomes her lover/protogee(Jacqueline Sassard).Both woman are physically stunning and the scenes of them together, though never explicit, are thoroughly sensual. The plot thickens with the intoduction of a third character - an attractive male architect(Jean-Louis Trintignant). The protogee's sway towards him causes a facinating shift in the relationship between all three.Keep in mind that director Claude Chabrol is something of a French Alfred HitchcockMost of the film is shot in St Tropez and Paris. The scenery is breathless."
The blasé Frédérique seeks diversions...
Kim Anehall | Chicago, IL USA | 05/22/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The blasé Frédérique (Stéphane Audran) constantly seeks diversions as she finds Why (Jacqueline Sassard), a female street artist, with whom she initiates a love affair. Frédérique shows off her luxurious apartment in Paris and her mansion on the French Riviera as well as her company for Why. Why, who has nothing, is drawn into Frédérique's steel grip where she is dominated and controlled. The love affair between the two women seems to lead toward an end as Why falls in love with Paul Thomas (Jean-Louis Trintignant), but Frédérique becomes intrigued by the situation and finds a way to get things her way. Chabrol creates an excellent atmosphere in Les Biches, a dark drama, that depicts several concepts such as wealth, the bourgeoisie, domination, and rebellion. These concepts initiate a self-destructive pattern which influences the psychology of Why as she looses control of her own will and life. In the end, Chabrol leaves the viewer with a terrific psychological thriller with an open ending leaving much room for thought."
Powerful, Hypnotic film experience
Laszlo Kovacs | New Jersey, USA | 07/21/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I viewed Les Biches when I was 13 years old and have never been as affected by a film as much. This film ranks up with films masked in sorrow such as, Bertolucci's Last Tango in Paris, Bergman's Cries and Whispers, and Truffaut's Les Quatre Cents Coups. I am somewhat saddened that this film hasn't been released as a Criterion Collection DVD which I deeply belive it should. All the characters played in this film are very much enigmas especially Jacqueline Sassard's character, Why. At first Why appears to be naive and dull, but within the course of the film soon turns psychotic and violent. The basic storyline is a bisexual Parisean socialite, Frederique, picks up a waif, Why, who earns her living drawing does on the streets of Paris. Soon Frederique brings Why to what is left of St. Tropez on the off season to meet the chic crowd. Why meets and falls in love with suave architect,Paul. When Frederique tries to get back at Why, she finds true love in Paul and gets between Why and Paul. Paul seduces Frederique and after a while goes back to Paris with him. Why goes back to Paris also. The scene of Why going back to Paris, filmed from a moving car, focusing on Notre Dame on an overcast afternoon for about ten seconds is etched forever in my memory along with the ultimately distrurbing and murky ending.This is a truly great film experience that has been unseen for too long."
Handsome Does
blockhed | UK | 09/05/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Many American reviewers (though not all, thankfully) seem completely baffled by this wonderful sample of French sense and sensibility. Some think it is funny. I couldn't detect anything funny about it. Some say it is not erotic. To me it seemed exceptionally erotic. Others find it dull and boring. Tant pis for them.

Occasionally Chabrol is said to be "The French Hitchcock". However, the subtlety and penetration of Chabrol's presentation and analytic understanding of the psychology of his characters is far superior to anything by Hitchcock, perhaps because Chabrol is unencumbered by the simplistic trammels of Freudianism. The suspense lies in how the increasingly impossible tangle of the relationships is going to be resolved. The straightforward solution would be for Why to shake herself away from the hothouse she has entered; but here the underlying factor takes over: the atmosphere of wealth, ease and gratification has irrevocably seduced her. Corruption of innocence and simplicity appears to be a persistent theme of Chabrol's, from Les Cousins onward. Those who cannot cope are put through hell before they are destroyed.

Almost all the brief summaries of this exceedingly complex film, including the one on the dvd cover, are highly misleading. It defies easy explanation. Whose actions are right and whose are wrong as the events unfold? Each of the three main characters acts with a natural selfishness, but what exactly are their underlying motivations? Why does Frederique seduce Paul? Why does Paul ditch Why? What does Why hope to gain by staying on? Are any of them actually capable of loving another person? Is homosexuality merely an extreme form of narcissism?