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Claude Chabrol's Aesthetics of Opacity$
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Catherine Dousteyssier-Khoze

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780748692606

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748692606.001.0001

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Through the Looking Glass: Chabrol’s Mirrors and the ‘Crystal-image’

Through the Looking Glass: Chabrol’s Mirrors and the ‘Crystal-image’

Chapter:
(p.142) Chapter 6 Through the Looking Glass: Chabrol’s Mirrors and the ‘Crystal-image’
Source:
Claude Chabrol's Aesthetics of Opacity
Author(s):

Catherine Dousteyssier-Khoze

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748692606.003.0007

In close conversation with the previous chapter, Deleuze’s concept of ‘crystal-image’ is used here to explore various reflexive structures and show how pivotal they are to the construction of an aesthetic of opacity. Mises en abyme, mirror images, widespread theatricality help interrogate the fluid and playful relationship between illusion and reality. Like Magritte and Renoir, Chabrol excels at subverting the representation of reality by making it look oneiric or uncanny, sometimes through a mere detail. Through the key examples of La Fille coupée en deux as ‘crystal-film’ and L’Enfer as paranoid narrative, this chapter examines how and to what extent Chabrol challenges the status of the image and the reception process.

Keywords:   Crystal-image, Mirror, Mise en abyme, Reflexivity, Theatricality, Renoir, Reception

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