Wednesday, 23 November 2011

The Films of Henri-Georges Clouzot Continue at TIFF Bell Lightbox

Image from Les Espions, Photo Credit: Kobal

The Wages of Fear: The Films of Henri-Georges Clouzot at TIFF Bell Lightbox has been running at TIFF Bell Lightbox since October 13, 2011 and is heading into it's final hurrah with spy drama Les Espions playing this Thursday November 24, 2011 and then documentary L' Enfer d'Henri-Georges Clouzot on Tuesday November 29, 2011. It's perfectly fitting to have L' Enfer d'Henri-Georges Clouzot close out the program as it documents the unfinished film Inferno beautifully, as well as honours the life and work of Clouzot himself.

Les Espions
Dir: Henri-Georges Clouzot (The Raven / Le Corbeau, The Mystery of Picasso / Le Mystère Picasso)
Cast: Curd Jürgens, Peter Ustinov, O.E. Hasse
France/Italy, 1957

Les Espions follows a doctor with few patients who is practicing almost off the grid with little prospects, who is presented with a seemingly too good to be true offer which would result in the ability to turn a great corner if he agrees to look the other way. It's amazing how moments and choices that seem so simple can have such ricochet effect to a multitude of unseen possibilities. I really enjoyed the omnipresent tone of the unknown in Les Espions, the stark contrast of clarity and doubt, how things even when are presented clearly and be delightfully dark and mischievous. I found it highly entertaining to watch the constant battle between siding for the underdog and shaking my fist that things were unjust and than bouncing over to the camp f watching the train wreck that was agreed to all go to hell. It was a wild experience to ebb and flow between the two sides, all the while being intrigued in the actual story line, character dilemma and mysterious abound. A truly engaging, and intelligent film.

Les Espions screens on Thursday November 24, 2011 at 6:30 PM. See more information on the retrospective here or buy tickets here.

Image from L'enfer d'Henri-Georges Clouzot, Photo Credit: FRL

L'enfer d'Henri-Georges Clouzot / Inferno
Dir: Serge Bromberg & Ruxandra Medrea - feature film directorial debuts
Documentary / edited from Henri-Georges Clouzot 1964 unfinished film L'enfer
France, 2010

L' Enfer d'Henri-Georges Clouzot was truly the film I was most looking forward to of the films included in the Henri-Georges Clouzot retrospective, which feels a little strange as technically it's not his film. It's a documentary about hist 1964 unfinished film L'enfer, with interview of people who worked on the film piece the story of it's almost creation together, readings of the script by actors and a fair amount of footage from the film and a huge amount of experimental footage and tests that were done to contribute to the madness of jealousy of a character in the film. I could literally just have watched the experimental footage as it was so beautiful and bizarre, playing with principles of design and an opt art slant it was a wealth or artistic glory. I did also love the film and hearing the story behind the film, and it's a tragic tale that a vision that so unique and wonderous and had a huge amount of resources behind it never saw the light of day. Until now, where we do get to experience beautiful moments of intense emotion through daring and gorgeous visuals. It's amazing to see the journey and even though it didn't end well I admired and was inspired by the persistence of Clouzot's artistic vision. Overall, a beautiful and honouring film.

L' Enfer d'Henri-Georges Clouzot screens on Tuesday November 29, 2011 at 8:45 PM. See more information on the retrospective here or buy tickets here.

The Wages of Fear: The Films of Henri-Georges Clouzot at TIFF Bell Lightbox remaining screenings:

  • Les Espions on Thursday November 24, 2011 at 6:30 PM

  • L' Enfer d'Henri-Georges Clouzot on Tuesday November 29, 2011 at 8:45 PM
The Wages of Fear: The Cinema of Henri-Georges Clouzot retrospectve runs from October 13 to November 29, 2011 at TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

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