I’m not the world’s biggest fan of Claude Chabrol’s L’enfer (1994). His heart was probably in the right place: he was resuming an unfinished project begun twenty years earlier by Henri-Georges Clouzot, one with ties to Fritz Lang’s Scarlet Street and the noir staple of a horny schlub getting put through the wringer by a conniving femme fatale. But Chabrol gets bored easily with conventional setups, so when his protagonist (François Cluzet) goes off the deep end, there’s very little reason to feel for him. We’re just watching an actor floundering. I will give Chabrol props for casting Emmanuelle Béart, however: she looks smashing.
In Clouzot’s 1964 version, Romy Schneider was the sultry wife. The clip here is probably dream imagery Clouzot was going to use to drive the husband bonkers. To me, it looks like a Kenneth Anger movie. I’m sure people will be talking about the Slinky for years to come (nice touch, Henri-Georges!), and if anyone knows what the superb music track is, be sure to drop me a line.
Update: Bruno Alexiu composed the music for this clip from L'Enfer d'Henri-Georges Clouzot, a new documentary by Serge Bromberg and Ruxandra Medrea on the making of Clouzot's unfinished film.