Close Up

10 - 17 November 2009: Take Two: Henri-Georges Clouzot


Le Corbeau
Henri-Georges Clouzot
1942 | 90 min | B/W | Digital

A mysterious writer of poison-pen letters, known only as Le Corbeau, plagues a French provincial town, unwittingly exposing the collective suspicion and rancor seething beneath the community's calm surface. Made during the Nazi Occupation of France, Henri-Georges Clouzot's Le Corbeau was attacked by the right-wing Vichy regime, the left-wing Resistance press, the Catholic Church, and was banned after the Liberation. But some-including Jean Cocteau and Jean-Paul Sartre recognized the powerful subtext to Clouzot's anti-informant, anti-Gestapo fable, and worked to rehabilitate Clouzot's directorial reputation after the war. Le Corbeau brilliantly captures a spirit of paranoid pettiness and self-loathing turning an occupied French town into a twentieth-century Salem.

Les Diaboliques
Henri-Georges Clouzot
1955 | 116 min | B/W | Digital  

An acknowledged influence on Psycho, Henri-Georges Clouzot's horror classic is the story of a sadistic headmaster who brutalizes his fragile wife and his headstrong mistress. The two women murder him and dump his body in a swimming pool; when the pool is drained, no corpse is found.