French director Claude Chabrol dies at 80

Claude Chabrol, a critic and filmmaker who helped launch the influential French new wave movement in the late 1950s and whose Hitchcock-inspired thrillers such as "Le Boucher" ("The Butcher") explored the darkness lurking below the surface of middle-class life, died Sept. 12 in Paris.

He was 80. No cause of death was reported.

Chabrol made more than 55 feature films, including his most recent, "Bellamy," a 2009 murder mystery starring GĂ©rard Depardieu. His initial acclaim came a half-century earlier, when he helped revolutionize the production and visual presentation of French filmmaking.

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