Monday, 12 April 2010

Henri-Georges Clouzot's Inferno

Bromberg and Medrea’s film documents a tragedy and a kind of madness in the form of Henri-George Clouzot’s vision and his inability to turn it into a finished film. So the hallucinations of the jealous husband at the centre of the story in turn seem to represent the torment of the director.
   With a limitless budget courtesy of Columbia Clouzot had everything he could want except the discipline to complete a potential masterpiece called Inferno. With no-one to assist or control him, Clouzot became as obsessive as the husband. The film became the lover he idealised, scrutinised and unwittingly destroyed. The scenes we can see stun the senses with both their beauty and the psychosis they depict.
   Romy Schneider is gorgeous, and Serge Reggiani is perfect as an average man who, like Clouzot, is consumed by the magnificence of what he covets.
   Radical colourisation, electronic sound, kinetic art, voice manipulation; Clouzot was aiming to incorporate all forms of modernism circa 1964 into this film. But being an insomniac he also drove those who worked for him to the point of total fatigue by demanding that everyone adhered to his work pattern.
   Reggiani finally jumped ship, and Clouzot had a heart attack. It appears to have been a kind of relief for those enduring his anguish whilst also suffering themselves.
   This documentary is worth owning for tantalising glimpses of what was filmed. The reality of what happened is heartbreaking. Like us, Clouzot could only dream of what might have been.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...