- Henri-Georges Clouzot
bgcolour = silver
name = Henri-Georges Clouzot
imagesize = 150
birthdate = Birth date|1907|11|20
Niort, Deux-Sèvres, Poitou-Charentes, France
deathdate = death date and age |1977|1|12|1907|11|20
yearsactive = (1931-1968)
Clouzot was born in
Niort, Deux-Sèvres. After studying classicsat university, he first attempted to make his living as a journalist. However, in the 1930s, he worked as supervisor for a dubbing film company in Berlin, where he was exposed to the groundbreaking camerawork of the German cinema of the time. On his return to France, he began to work on film scripts, and then made his directorial debut with " L'assassin habite au 21" (1942), which starred Pierre Fresnayand Suzy Delair. The film was made for the Continental Film Company, which had been set up in the occupied part of France at the behest of the Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels. Goebbels intended the company to produce pure entertainment, in the hope of keeping French moviegoers content (Hollywood films were banned under the occupation).
Clouzot's next film for Continental, "
Le Corbeau" (1943), also starred Pierre Fresnay alongside popular leading lady Ginette Leclerc. The movie is a noir thriller concerning a spate of poison pen letters in a small French town. Critics have seen this as a comment on life under the occupation, where denunciations were common.Fact|date=February 2007 After the liberation in 1944, the film became the subject of controversy as to whether it was a subtle work of resistance or an act of collaboration; either way, the film defied Continental's remit for making films with limited intellectual content. Because of the scandal, Clouzot was temporarily suspended from his professional activities in 1945. When he returned to film directing, he won several awards at the Venice Film Festivaland Cannes Film Festivalwith " Quai des orfèvres" (1947), "Manon" (1949), and "Le Salaire de la Peur (The Wages of Fear)" (1952), all of which were also very popular with audiences.
A moviemaker in a classical style, Clouzot was motivated by a
perfectionismthat sometimes tyrannized his actors.Fact|date=February 2007 He was a moralist with a pessimistic view of society, as is shown in later films. These include "Les Diaboliques" (1954), a macabre thriller which presents an ambivalent and ambiguous pair of women, played by Simone Signoretand Véra Clouzot, who plot the murder of a sadistic headmaster ( Paul Meurisse), the husband of one and the lover of the other; " Le Mystère Picasso" (1956), a documentary on the method of the painter and the birth of few of his paintings; and "La Vérité" (1960), a drama starring Brigitte Bardot.
Henri-Georges Clouzot died in Paris on
January 12, 1977.
Claude Chabroladapted and filmed a screenplay, "L'Enfer", of a movie that Clouzot had been unable to finish 30 years before.
Awards & Nominations
Quai des orfèvres" (1947)
**Venice Film Festival International Award for Best Director Winner
Venice Film Festival Golden LionWinner
*"Le Salaire de la Peur" (1953)
Berlin Film FestivalGolden Bear Winner
Cannes Film FestivalGrand Prix du Festival International du Film Winner
Le Mystère Picasso" (1956)
**Cannes Film Festival Prix du Jury Winner
* [http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/MRC/frenchbib.html#clouzot Clouzot Bibliography (via UC Berkeley]
* [http://frenchfilms.topcities.com/nf_hgclouzot.html Page on Henri-Georges Clouzot, in English]
* [http://members.aol.com/cinefilie/clouzot.htm Page on Henri-Georges Clouzot, in French (more comprehensive)]
* [http://www.optimumdvdstore.com/film.php?id=504 Optimum Releasing H.G. Clouzot Release]
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