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Checkmate

6.8
100
Ratings
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Original title
Le Coup du berger
Year
Running time
28 min.
Country
France France
Director
Screenwriter
Jacques Rivette, Claude Chabrol, Charles L. Bitsch
Music
François Couperin, Eta Harnich-Schneider, Orhcestre de chambre Hewitt
Cinematography
Charles L. Bitsch (B&W)
Cast
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Producer
Les Films de la Pléiade
Genre
Comedy. Drama | Nouvelle vague (New Wave). Half-length Film
Synopsis / Plot
This short by Jacques Rivette is often cited as the first film of the French New Wave. It was co-written by Claude Chabrol, Jean-Marie Straub was the assistant director and there are cameos by François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Chabrol and Rivette himself. Starring Virginie Vitry, Jacques Doniol-Valcroze and Jean-Claude Brialy.

Claire (Virginie Vitry) is a chic young Parisian woman married to a somewhat older husband, Jean (Jacques Doniol-Valcroze). As this 28-minute trifle opens, she leaves her husband playing baroque music at the piano, telling him she is off to see her sister, Solange. In reality she meets her lover, Claude (Jean-Claude Brialy) at his apartment; after some idle chatter and love-making he tells her a story of the shriveled heads that the Jivaro indians used to give their lovers as tokens of affection but as she shivers in disgust, he gives her a mink instead. How will they hide it from her husband though? An elaborate scheme involving hiding it at a bus terminal where the husband himself will find it and bring it home is concocted but alas the husband is wiser than they think...
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