Sheila writes: As the daughter of a librarian, I grew up surrounded by books.It was a treat to go visit my father at the university library where he worked, since he had such a passion for books (a passion he passed on to his children).You can dub a spaghetti Western and nobody cares, but mess with Chabrol and you're eliminating the very quality audiences respond to in his work.

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He married the actress Stephane Audran in 1962 (she was Jean-Louis Trintignant's former wife and had starred in "Les Cousins"). For the English version, he cut out 20 -minutes, and inevitably they were the exact 20 minutes for which I made the film." Chabrol spread his hands in a gesture of futility.

And then he announced a number of projects, but nothing came of them. Second, you must find a producer who is a human being. I can say of all my previous producers that I hated them and they hated me. After I finished the film, they brought in an editor who was described as a 'doctor.' He was supposed to make a film out of my film. "Editors have an uncanny ability to find what you feel is most important, and cut it out," he said.

Chabrol was there at the very beginning, first as a critic for Cahiers du Cinema and then as the director of perhaps the first New Wave film.

His "Le Beau Serge" (1958) preceded Truffaut's "The 400 Blows" by a few months, and when Godard's "Breathless" appeared the original triumvirate of New Wave directors was established. Chabrol's sensationally successful "Les Cousins" followed, also in 1958, and the next year he made "A Double Tour" and "Les Bonnes Femmes." Although he was by then routinely linked with Truffaut and Godard, his style and taste in material didn't resemble theirs (nor did they resemble each other, of course, although they made a convenient grouping because of their common disregard for the existing writer-dominated French cinema.) Chabrol's 1962 "Landru," from a screenplay by Francoise Sagan about a World War I mass murderer, can be seen in hindsight as characteristically Chabrolian but having little connection with the concerns of other New Wave directors.

Even a banal situation takes on importance when there's a murder involved.

"I suppose that's why I choose to work with murder so often.

In writing the script, I worked from the very same copy of Ellery Queen that I read 30 years ago. I saw 'Snow 'White' at least 10 times between 19 and I think it influenced my work, a little. The death of the witch was the best thing Disney ever did.

Of course, murder always heightens the interest in a film.

This interview, which took place during the 1970 New York Film Festival, shows him at midpoint in his life, just as he had emerged from a period of neglect and was making some of his best films.