Thursday, 2 December 2010

Mad genius

I finally caught up with Henri-Georges Clouzot's Inferno the other night, a fascinating and totally absorbing documentary looking at Clouzet's legendary unfinished "masterpiece" L'Enfer. In common with Lost In La Mancha, Serge Bromberg and Ruxandra Medrea's film reveals a director's vision coming apart at the scenes, although in this case it was less the vagaries of the weather and a lead actor's ill-heath, and more a filmmaker pushing himself (and his cast and crew) to the limits and, eventually, his heart into cardiac arrest. Complied from 15 hours of never seen before footage, camera tests designed to try out special lenses and optical effects, and readings from the script by Bérénice Bejo and Jacques Gamblin standing in for Romy Schneider's Odette and Serge Reggiani's Marcel, a hotel owner husband driven mad by thoughts of his young bride's suspected infidelity, Bromberg and Medrea comb through the remnants of Clouzet's extraordinary intentions, and leaving us to rue the loss of what might have been a revolutionary piece of cinema.


Gerard said...

I enjoyed this very much myself.

Hal Gracie said...

'coming apart at the scenes' - nice!