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Lumière Festival: Henri-Georges Clouzot, an Appreciation

Lumière Festival: Henri-Georges Clouzot, an Appreciation
Nobody is innocent. Nobody is guileless. Nobody is good. Welcome to the seamy, sardonic cinema of French director Henri-Georges Clouzot, whose retrospective at the Lumière 2017 Grand Lyon Film Festival lends a malevolent dark sparkle to a festival named after light. Part of the Cannes-launched “Year of Clouzot,” the selection comprises all 11 of his directorial features, as well as screenwriting credits, his first short and several documentaries, including “Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Inferno” which not only explores his unfinished folly “L’Enfer,” but gives great insight into the mercurial, meticulously misanthropic director.

“The awful thing about life is that everyone has their reasons,” goes the famous quote from “Rules of the Game” by Clouzot’s diametric opposite, Jean Renoir. Yet it’s a worldview that these antithetical titans of mid-century French cinema share. All Clouzot’s faithless wives and foolish husbands, all his pious priests and prim school-teachers, from the working stiff to the prideful professional to the grasping
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Christopher McQuarrie teams with Gaumout for crime drama Stl

Mission: Impossible 6 director Christopher McQuarrie and his wife and producing partner Heather McQuarrie have signed a first-look deal with Gaumont to develop multiple scripted drama projects, Variety has revealed.

First up from the deal is a remake of Gaumont’s French crime drama 36 Quai des Orfevres; provisionally titled Stl, the series will explore the ruthless competition between cops at the Criminal Investigations Division. Ben Ripley (Source Code) is writing the script, and McQuarrie will direct.

“Chris is an industry icon – he is a master storyteller, world-class director, and hugely talented producer, and he and Heather are a pivotal partnership for Gaumont as we increase our investment into new productions for the global market,” said Gaumont’s president of television in the U.S., Gene Stein. “We’re thrilled to be adapting 36 Quai des Orfèvres from our French library, and to have Ben Ripley on board to bring it to life.
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Christopher and Heather McQuarrie sign TV deal with Gaumont

Christopher and Heather McQuarrie sign TV deal with Gaumont
First project under pact is drama series Stl, based on Gaumont’s French-language feature 36 Quai Des Orfèvres.

Gaumont, the studio behind the Netflix drama Narcos, has finalised a first-look agreement with screenwriter, producer, and director Christopher McQuarrie and producing partner Heather McQuarrie.

McQuarrie will write, direct, and produce multiple scripted drama projects for the studio under the new pact, Gaumont’s president of television Us Gene Stein announced today.

The first project to go into development under the pact is Stl (working title) a TV drama series adaptation of Gaumont’s César Award-nominated feature film, 36 Quai Des Orfèvres, centred on the gritty criminal underworld, and the ruthless competition between the cops at the Criminal Investigations Division.

Chris McQuarrie will direct, with both Chris and Heather attached as executive producers. Ben Ripley, know for Source Code and Flatliners, will serve as writer and executive producer.

Chris McQuarrie co-wrote and is currently directing and co-producing the latest installment of [link
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Gaumont Signs First-Look Deal with ‘Mission: Impossible 6’ Director/Co-Writer Christopher McQuarrie

Gaumont (“Narcos”) has signed a first-look deal with Christopher McQuarrie, the director, co-writer and co-producer of “Mission: Impossible 6,” and his producing partner and wife, Heather McQuarrie, to write, direct and produce multiple scripted drama projects.

Under the agreement, McQuarrie will first direct “Stl” (working title), a TV drama series based on Gaumont’s “36 Quai des Orfèvres,” the gritty French crime drama depicting the ruthless competition between cops at the Criminal Investigations Division. McQuarrie will be executive producing, along with Heather McQuarrie and Ben Ripley (“Source Code”), who will also write the series.

“Chris is an industry icon – he is a master storyteller, world-class director, and hugely talented producer, and he and Heather are a pivotal partnership for Gaumont as we increase our investment into new productions for the global market,” said Gaumont’s president of television in the U.S., Gene Stein.

“We’re thrilled to be adapting ’36 Quai des Orfèvres’ from our French library, and
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Christopher & Heather McQuarrie Ink TV Deal With Gaumont; Set Drama Series Based On ’36 Quai des Orfèvres’ Feature

Oscar-winning filmmaker Christopher McQuarrie and his producing partner Heather McQuarrie have signed a first-look deal with Gaumont (Narcos). Under the pact, Christopher McQuarrie will write, direct and produce multiple scripted drama projects for the independent studio. The duo’s first project under the deal is Stl (working title) a TV drama series adaptation of Gaumont's César-nominated feature film, 36 Quai des Orfèvres (36th Precinct), with Ben Ripley (Source Code, Fl…
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'Cage aux Folles' Actor and French Academy Award Winner Featured in More Than 200 Films Dead at 93

Michel Galabru (right) and Louis de Funès in 'Le gendarme et les gendarmettes.' 'La Cage aux Folles' actor Michel Galabru dead at 93 Michel Galabru, best known internationally for his role as a rabidly reactionary politician in the comedy hit La Cage aux Folles, died in his sleep today, Jan. 4, '16, in Paris. The Moroccan-born Galabru (Oct. 27, 1922, in Safi) was 93. Throughout his nearly seven-decade career, Galabru was seen in more than 200 films – or, in his own words, “182 days,” as he was frequently cast in minor roles that required only a couple of days of work. He also appeared on stage, training at the Comédie Française and studying under film and stage veteran Louis Jouvet (Bizarre Bizarre, Quai des Orfèvres), and was featured in more than 70 television productions. Michel Galabru movies Michel Galabru's film debut took place in Maurice de Canonge's La bataille du feu (“The Battle of Fire,
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Jean Grémillon: Realism and Tragedy

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Translators introduction: This article by Mireille Latil Le Dantec, the first of two parts, was originally published in issue 40 of Cinématographe, September 1978. The previous issue of the magazine had included a dossier on "La qualité française" and a book of a never-shot script by Jean Grémillon (Le Printemps de la Liberté or The Spring of Freedom) had recently been published. The time was ripe for a re-evaluation of Grémillon's films and a resuscitation of his undervalued career. As this re-evaluation appears to still be happening nearly 40 years later—Grémillon's films have only recently seen DVD releases and a 35mm retrospective begins this week at Museum of the Moving Image in Queens—this article and its follow-up gives us an important view of a French perspective on Grémillon's work by a very perceptive critic doing the initial heavy-lifting in bringing the proper attention to the filmmaker's work.

Filmmaker maudit?
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Trailer for French cop thriller Braquo Trilogy box set

In anticipation of the DVD and Blu-Ray release of season three of French cop thriller Braquo on Monday July 21st, Arrow Films have unveiled a new trailer, which you can watch below…

Created by former Parisian police officer Olivier Marchal, Jean-Hugues Anglade (Betty Blue,Nikita) returns once again as the enigmatic Eddy Caplan, this time leading his team of renegade detectives as their fall from grace in the eyes of the law continues.

Hailed by The Daily Telegraph as France’s answer to The Wire – no small feat, it is a habit of Marchal to strike comparisons to American film and TV classics. His most celebrated work outside of Braquo, 36 Quai des Orfèvres was described as France’s version of Heat, where Marchal matched the American heavyweight acting talent of Robert De Niro and Al Pacino with France’s own heavyweight duo of Gerard Dépardieu and Daniel Auteuil.

Since first airing on the FX channel,
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Scott Cooper To Remake '36th Precinct'; Kristen Stewart Won't Star In 'Lie Down In Darkness'

Between "Crazy Heart" and his forthcoming "Out Of The Furnace," director Scott Cooper has attached himself to a lot of stuff. "Lie Down In Darkness," "The Emperor's Children" (previously a Noah Baumbach project,) a remake of "Carancho" and the Depression-era drama "The Road Home." It's quite a to-do list, and now he's gone and added another to the pile. Deadline reports that Cooper has signed up rewrite and direct "36th Precinct," a remake of the Olivier Marchand's 2004 effort "36 Quai des Orfèvres." As busy as he is, it may not be a bad idea at all; the original movie was a solid, if not particularly memorable procedural starring Daniel Auteuil and Gerard Depardieu. It concerned two cops who compete to bring down a criminal gang in order to secure promotion. The new version will center on the NYPD's anti-terrorism unit, aiming for a more ripped-from-the-headlines feel we suppose.  "I don't
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The Forgotten: The Lodger

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Masters of Cinema have kindly released L'assassin habite... au 21 (The Murderer Lives at... 21) on DVD. This, the directorial debut of Henri-Georges Clouzot, has never been an easy film to see in English-speaking territories. It's often dismissed a a minor effort, perhaps because of it's light-hearted tone, and because it's a more conventional whodunnit investigation than the more twisty and twisted later thrillers.

The stars are Pierre Fresnay (later hero of Le corbeau) and Suzy Delair (later heroine of Quai des Orfèvres, and Clouzot's mistress), playing a brilliant police inspector and his actress girlfriend. Suave Fresnay and blousy Delair would also play these roles in a sequel, Le dernier des six, scripted by Clouzot but not directed by him. It's not as good as this one but as a greedy swine I can't help wish that it could have been included as an extra on the disc.

There's been a series of robbery-murders,
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The Forgotten: Dashing Through the Snow

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A very quick holiday post.

Victor Sjöström's The Phantom Carriage is a fine festive movie, based as it is on the idea that whomsoever expires at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve/New Year's Day, will be doomed to drive the Death Coach for the following year, collecting the spirits of the dead and delivering them to their reward. Cheery stuff!

Sjöström serves up a wintry gloom and plays the lead role himself in grand style: I particularly relish a moment when he laughs in the face of a woman bent on his salvation, not in the silent movie manner of holding his sides and vibrating, but merely by baring his teeth. You can hear that dry chuckle!

In 1939, Julien Duvivier remade the film for sound, with a big budget and the best the French studios had to offer, which matched Hollywood's artifice icicle for icicle:

We track across this huge,
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Kasaravalli Retrospective at Bengaluru International Film Festival 2012

The fifth edition of the Bengaluru International Film Festival will hold retrospectives of Girish Kasaravalli and Jahnu Barua among others. Five of Kasaravalli’s films: Tabarana Kathe (1986), Kraurya (1996), Thaayi Saheba (1997), Dweepa (2003) and Hasina (2004)will be screened. While Barua’s Halodhia Choraye Baodhan Khai (1987), Banani (1990), Firingoti (1992) and Hkhagoroloi Bohu Door(1995) will be screened.

Besides, three other sections are dedicated to Indian cinema. Chitrabharathi – Indian Cinema Competition, Kannada Cinema (competition and screening of films in other dialects in Karnataka) and 100 years of Indian Cinema (screening of 14 films).

Complete line up:


Chan-Wook Park (South Korea)

1. J.S.A.: Joint Security Area (Chan-Wook Park/110/2000/South Korea)

2. Sympathy for Mr Vengeance (Chan-Wook Park/129/2002/South Korea)

3. Old boy (Chan-Wook Park/120/2003/South Korea)

4. Lady Vengeance (Chan-Wook Park/112/2005/South Korea)

5. Thirst (Chan-Wook Park/133/2009/South Korea)

Fatih Akin (Germany)

1. Short Sharp Shock (Fatih Akin/100/1998/Germany)

2. In July (Fatih Akin/99/2000/Germany)

3. Solino (Fatih Akin/124/2002/Germany)

4. Head On (Fatih Akin/121/2004/Germany/Turkey
See full article at DearCinema.com »

Rialto Pictures Acquires Us Theatrical Rights to Vast Studiocanal Library

Founded in 1997, Rialto has been described as the gold standard of the reissue distributors. Now it will distribute international classics from the 2,000+ film catalogue of media giant Studiocanal.Rialto's past releases have included Renoir's Grand Illusion; Carol Reed's The Third Man; Fellini's Nights of Cabiria; Jules Dassin's Rififi; De Sica's Umberto D; Godard's Breathless, Contempt, Band of Outsiders, Masculine Feminine, A Woman is a Woman, and Made in USA; Julien Duvivier's Pépé le Moko; Luis Buñuel's Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, Diary of a Chambermaid, The Phantom of Liberty, The Milky Way and That Obscure Object of Desire; John Schlesinger's Billy Liar; Clouzot's Quai des Orfèvres; Mel Brooks' The Producers; Robert Bresson's Au Hasard Balthazar, Mouchette and Diary of a Country Priest; Jean-Pierre Melville's...
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Switch – review

This slick, preposterous thriller is cast from the now rather worn mould that produced The Lady Vanishes. The fetching Karine Vanasse plays a French-Canadian fashion designer who swaps her flat via the web with a fancy pad beside the Eiffel Tower belonging to a woman she's never met. But after an idyllic first day she awakes feeling ill, and while she's in the shower Inspector Eric Cantona arrives with a Swat team from the Quai des Orfèvres to reveal that she has a different name on her passport and a headless corpse in her bed. The story moves like a bullet (more dumb perhaps than dumdum), but I enjoyed it.

ThrillerEric CantonaPhilip French

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Henri-Georges Clouzot

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Clouzot and Romy Schneider on the set of L'Enfer

"Watching a film by the French master Henri-Georges Clouzot, you often feel as if the walls were closing in on you — even when there are no walls," writes Terrence Rafferty in the New York Times. "The Wages of Fear (1953), the movie that opens the Museum of Modern Art's Clouzot retrospective [today], takes place almost entirely out of doors, yet it's as claustrophobic as a stretch in solitary confinement…. It is perhaps fortunate, for the sanity of his viewers, that he managed to complete only 11 features between 1942, when his deceptively light-hearted L'Assassin Habite au 21 (The Murderer Lives at No. 21) was released, and 1968, when his last movie, La Prisonnière, came out.... All 11 will be screened before the series ends on Dec 24, along with odds and ends like a couple of early-40s pictures for which he supplied screenplays and a 2010 documentary, Henri-Georges Clouzot's Inferno,
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The Wages of Fear: The Films of Henri-Georges Clouzot

Filmmakers -- especially French ones, and especially those working before the 50s -- are often overly romanticized amongst cinephiles. We love a great film, but we really love the underlying legends and myths of the artist and the creative process, struggling and screaming and clawing to get each film made, centralized on a whirligig of backstabbing, betrayal, and romance. Failed projects, lusty affairs, bouts with depression, creative absences, controversial ideologies, and tragic deaths: it's the stuff that makes the singular genius of the director all the more untouchable; all the more storied. Enter, then, Henri-Georges Clouzot, the 'French Hitchcock' - perhaps the most improbable canonized auteur of them all. The Tiff Bell Lightbox in Toronto won't be spotlighting him with an 'art' exhibition ala Fellini's photo show last summer, but they will be giving his modestly sized filmography a run-through from mid-October to November 29. Unpretentiously titled The Wages of Fear
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DVD of the Week: Diabolique

By Vadim Rizov

American movies, for whatever reason, are low on killings that take place in bathtubs and swimming pools. The French, on the other hand, have several films that famously make soaking yourself in water a charged event: 1969's La Piscine has a brutal pool-side forced drowning, and the centerpiece of Diabolique is a messy tub murder. The atmosphere is fetid from the opening shot, a scum-level view of a pool, which becomes increasingly important after Christina (Vera Clouzot) and Nicole (Simone Signoret) kill Christina's brutal husband, school headmaster Michel Delasalle (Paul Meurisse), and dump his corpse in the pool. When it doesn't rise to the top, the pool is drained, revealing a striking lack of dead people. Where's Michel? Numerous shots of puddles large and small hammer the question home.

Nominally a thriller, Diabolique (newly re-released on DVD in a digitally restored print via Criterion) is a pitch-dark
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Les diaboliques – review

Between 1942 and 1960 Clouzot directed several of the best thrillers ever made, including Le corbeau, Quai des Orfèvres, The Wages of Fear and this one, made in 1955 and based on a novel by Boileau-Narcejac, the same duo who wrote the equally ingenious D'entre les morts, the source of Vertigo. Superbly acted, Les diaboliques is as effective a thriller as Hitchcock's film, if lacking the depth and resonance.

ThrillerPhilip French

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Film Feature: ‘Monsieur Noir: Henri-Georges Clouzot’ Thrills at Siskel Film Center

Chicago – What truly defines a master of suspense? Is it the skill of keeping an audience’s attention rapt with slick pacing, elaborately designed set-pieces, and a whopper of a twist ending? Or is it simply the ability to viscerally convey the psychological trap of a character until the audience feels confined within it, and every onscreen gasp, scream and shiver becomes the viewer’s own?

Henri-Georges Clouzot is one of the few filmmakers in cinema history who not only warrants comparison to the legendary Master of Suspense himself, Alfred Hitchcock, but deserves to be considered his equal (both men were greatly fond of storyboards). Though he only made a quarter as many pictures during his career, which spanned nearly four decades, he made some of the most influential and spellbinding thrillers ever made, including two renowned masterpieces, 1953’s “The Wages of Fear” and 1955’s “Diabolique.” The latter film certainly
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Film: Review: Henri-Georges Clouzot's Inferno

Few directors exerted such exacting control over the medium as Henri-Georges Clouzot. In films like Quai Des Orfèvres, The Wages Of Fear, and Diabolique, Clouzot made every element work in harmony, from the remarkable work he coaxed from his cast to a command of suspense techniques that rivaled Alfred Hitchcock’s. A demanding perfectionist who, by some reports, never slept, Clouzot held tight to the reins. In 1964, those reins slipped from his hands while he was working on L’Enfer (Inferno), a story of obsessive jealousy that would have found Clouzot using experimental techniques of a sort never ...
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