Monday, 4 July 2011

Mariangela Melato & Sandra Julien in Claude Chabrol's "Nada" [1974 France]

It's Nouvelle Vague time - I'll start with Claude Chabrol's filmography with one of his lesser known films, "Nada" [Eng. Title: The Nada Gang], a crime thriller centred around a fictitious anarchist group who called themselves N.A.D.A.

This isn't your typical Chabrol - I was just lucky to have found it in one of my excellent box-sets. It is also not my favourite Chabrol, but I loved it nevertheless for its wit and satire. The fact that it also stars the classy Mariangela Melato, one of my favourite Italian actresses came as a pleasant surprise.

Claude Chabrol, one of the pioneers of the French New Wave cinema movement, is broadly compared to Hitchcock for his early suspense thrillers. But where he differs is by also giving social commentaries through his films, sometimes even taking precedence over the plot. He was a prolific filmmaker, and inevitably went through several phases of mediocrity and brilliance. But there's no denying the fact that whenever you think of legendary actresses like Stéphane Audran, Romy Schneider, and Isabelle Huppert, it is likely to be for one of their films directed by Claude Chabrol.

Nada Gang members, led by academic Marcel kidnap the American ambassador for a ransom, but things take a different turn when the home ministry and an over-zealous superintendent decide to make an example out of them. Chabrol gives us a cynical insight into the way politics work, and also how even idealists compromise when the need arises. This is not exactly a great film, but certainly enjoyable as an action-packed crime drama.


Compilation: Sandra Julien and Mariangela Melato
There is only brief nudity in the film, but one of them is definitely worth checking out, that of the exceptionally sculpted beauty Sandra Julien (credited as Sandra Jullien). She plays a prostitute entertaining the ambassador when Nada members break in to spoil the party. The second is of the lovely Mariangela Melato who plays Veronique, one of the gang members, spending time with a veteran colleague she fancies, but who unfortunately struggles to perform on the given night. She gives only a brief flash of her breasts in this film, but not to worry - I will be posting here a legendary film by Ms. Melato pretty soon.

Mariangela Melato and Sandra Julien in Nada.


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