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Henri-Georges Clouzot's Inferno

  • Film
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Inferno06(RomySchneider).jpg
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Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars
Like a hugely ambitious DVD extra for a film that never was, this documentary charts the development of legendary French filmmaker Henri-Georges Clouzot’s 1964 riposte to the new wave, to be titled ‘Inferno’, and the film’s subsequent collapse in the face of spiralling budgets, recalcitrant performers and a director spinning off the rails.

It’s a remarkable feat of cinematic archeology, taking in reminiscences from the key players plus Clouzot’s raw location footage and wildly sensuous test photography of star Romy Schneider. The director’s impulse to widen the boundaries of cinema led to a series of  experiments with all sorts of brand new psychedelic visual and audio techniques, leading to some remarkably warped and worrying imagery.

It remains unclear whether ‘Inferno’ would’ve been the masterpiece Clouzot was anticipating: his reliance on tripped-out visuals and a staunchly unreconstructed attitude to sexual politics may have dated the film rapidly. What survives is a striking cautionary tale for budding filmmakers and a haunting evocation of experimentation run amok.
Written by Tom Huddleston

Release Details

  • Release date:Friday 6 November 2009
  • Duration:94 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:Serge Bromberg, Ruxandra Medrea
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