Film Directors with their Trousers Off

LES SCANDALE CLOUZOT is a pretty damn good documentary by Pierre-Henri Gibert, who has assembled an amazing array of archive material (above, Clouzot presents a trailer, Hitchcock-fashion, for his uncompleted documentary BRASIL) and some good talking heads. Maybe not as amazing as the line-up assembled for the earlier L’ENFER D’HENRI-GEORGES CLOUZOT, but substantial, and substantially different.

If I have a quibble it’s that we don’t learn exactly what scandal the title refers to, and the film doesn’t make an overall point or tell a real story. But there are interesting insights and anecdotes along the way.

Plus we get valuable photographs of Clouzot directing THE WAGES OF FEAR with his trousers off. In fact, going on the impressive visual evidence assembled, he seems to have helmed his masterpiece entirely without any trousers whatsoever, a possibly unique achievement for a male filmmaker.

Not that his legs are particularly beautiful specimens. Sturdy, yes, but not elegant. His brilliance as a director was not matched by a corresponding length of limb. Maybe, like Napoleon, he made up for his short extremities by being a great commander. There are a lot of great directors who are short, after all.

Below is a scene from LA VERITE, playing in London next week. I’m going to be down in the metropolis and had hoped to see it, but I don’t think the timing will work out. Still, I will have some cinematic adventures to report, I hope!

2 Responses to “Film Directors with their Trousers Off”

  1. ehrenstein47 Says:

    The “L’Enfer” debacle is fascinating. the fragments that were preserved are incredibly beautiful. So much so one wonders whether Clouzot had been driven mad y Romy Schneider’s beauty and charm.

    “La Verite” is terrific. Bardot gives an incredibly powerful performance. It clearly inspired Godard’s knowing direction of her in “Contempt” Sami Frey (who as I recall was having an affair with Bardot at the time) is also marvelous. But then he always is. I was just looking at “Black Widow” again the other day. Great neo-Highsmith jape.

  2. A lot of Clouzot’s ideas for pop-art hallucinations for L’Enfer get reused in La Prisonniere, still a very underrated film, and quite a revealing one. His assistant who appears in this documentary says he regarded all human relations as sadomasochistic.

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