fredag, mars 05, 2010

La prisonnière, Clouzot

'La prisonnière' by Henri-Georges Clouzot is an extremely interesting film from many points of view.
We saw it - Aurore and I - in French television tonight.

The story mainly circles around three characters, namely Stanislas Hassler (Laurent Terzieff, the name Hassler surely refering to both 'hustler' and Hasselbladh, the camera constructor), the owner of an art gallery; the artist Gilbert Moreau (Bernard Fresson) and the latters wife Josée (Elisabeth Wiener).
In the gallery, Hassler displays modern art, with fascinating forms shapes and patterns, often mobiles.

In the depiction of the events at the art gallery, the art itself seems to be more alive than the visitors.
Nothing extraordinary perhaps, as a great number of visitors to an art gallery are people with money but no profound interest in art as such.

These art events however becomes real happenings with celebrities and wannabees in every corner.

Gilbert starts flirting with another woman but his wife Josée discover this and in turn she starts meeting Stanislas.
In Stanislas home, filled with art from different parts of the world, Stanislav unfold a somewhat - in other peoples eyes - bizarr interest, photographing women in different subservient situations.
Stanislas is also an emotionally fragile person with recurrent emotional shifts, hidden behind the facade of a man with great self confidence and a big ego.
Although Josée finds it somewhat strange, not least when he invites another woman to pose for him, she stays on, fascinated by this mysterious man.
She is repelled by but on the same time attracted to Stanislas and his model.
Is she a victim or does she let herself be victimized?

What is explored in this film is both the world of art, the superficiality but also dependence, submission, our sexuality, the one we recognize and the one we don't recognize or try to bundle off to our subconscious areas.
The film is filled with colours, mainly red, green and black, in clothes and interiors, this both as an artistic ingredience but not least to express different emotional states, particularly concerning the women and notably Josée.
Between the two men - Stanislas and Gilbert - an interesting discussion concerning fidelity and exploitation of women, or rather one woman, Josée, emerges. Has neither of them treated her good or bad and what parameters should we use to decide this.

Clouzot is a formidable 'painter' when making films, using both the camera movements, angles, colours and music in a very interesting and intriguing way.

I warmly recommend it to those of you who regard yourself being cinephiles.

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