HG Clouzot whose best works ("diabolique" "salaire de la peur" "le corbeau" and "quai des orfèvres" ) rank among the best French works of all time,had health problems after "la vérité" (1960).Hence the eight -year gap, between that latter movie and his final opus "la prisonnière". Between,there was another film "l'enfer" ,starring Romy Schneider and Samy Frey but it was never finished .Claude Chabrol would take on the screenplay about thirty years later with Emmanuelle Béart and François Cluzet with startling results.
In fact Claude Chabrol is HGC's closest relative.No matter if Chabrol sprang from the nouvelle vague and Clouzot was part of their "enemies":Chabrol was (and is ) closer to Clouzot than any other new wave directors ,be it Truffaut or Godard .Were "la prisonnière" labelled a Chabrol's film,it would not enjoy ,so to speak,such a low rating.
"La prisonnière" is HGC's only color film and it remains a disturbing intriguing work.In "quai des orfèvres" ,a lipstick lesbian was taking photographs of models ,and thus sublimated what she probably thought was a sin (it was 1947!).In "la prisonnière" a young man (Laurent Terzieff a very earnest thespian)takes photographs of humiliated women .A young bourgeois girl(Wiener) married with a straight-in every senses of the term- husband (Bernard Fresson)discovers his secret by chance ,and wants to take a walk on the wild side.She won't escaped unharmed.Like Catherine Deneuve in Bunuel's "Belle de Jour" she is at the mercy of her fantasies:but whereas Severine,Bunuel's heroine,lived in a fantsy world,Josée ,HGC's girl, works as a TV editor and the films about which she works deal with women's sex and violence problems.
Although dated ,but not more than Bowman's final journey in "2001",the psychedelic effects are used masterfully.Although by no means a "nouvelle vaguesque" director ,HGC experiments here and the heroine's dream in the hospital is still impressive today."Everyone's a peeping tom" the young man says,"some pose,the others buy the photographs".Clouzot's misanthropy persisted till his last breath.
Stanislas Hassler blazes the development of modern art in his gallery, packed with works of surprising shapes, colours and textures, and where exhibitions turn into media events. Gilbert Moreau is one of the artists whose sculptures are on display in the gallery. His wife, Josée, is intrigued by the stern Stanislas, who devotes his free time to photography in an apartment that highlights his sophisticated artistic tastes. But besides enlarged pictures of calligraphic samples, Stanislas is amassing a collection of photographs that reveal a disturbed character. So why would Josée endanger her mature relationship with Gilbert for the morbid observation of Stanislas's hidden personality?
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June 29, 2018 at 08:08 AM