This week spring in the dark halls of the jewel oiled Henri-Georges Clouzot : the Wages of fear or the story explosive of an announced death. And in this crazy race to the voltage, this master of the Image, as mysterious as a virtuoso, excel, amazes, scares, and a brand of his sweat to a French film of the sensational.
How do you become a film buff ? How to cultivate this passion to never lose the taste ? The many answers to the objectivity risky as people fell into the pot, for reasons as diverse as they are exciting. A pot where influences simmering in the middle of personal experiences.
The result : works that stuck to our skin which remain in the memory as the first times that do not forget it. For some of us, Henri-Georges Clouzot has a lot to do. His works, often unpredictable, never conventional, combining formal mastery, perversity atmospheric and ambition popular, were always able to protect the public while maintaining a certain standard of staging. And at the crossroads of his quest for perfection and his tortured soul, Clouzot sign with THE WAGES OF FEAR a tattoo, indelible, of which the dark entity is equal to its nostalgic beauty.Many of us have discovered, one evening, in front of the tv, just by chance, without even having the slightest idea of the emotional range that this film was going to cause them : intense moments where the hair ruffle, the hands only and in which fascination mingles with the hustle and bustle. A work that is felt, therefore, at every moment, in the depths of his flesh, and supported by this fear oozing as not denied by any sequence.
Reach beyond the physical to the moral and psychology in sum : a film doubly effective. The suspense it wants to be endless ; an hour and a half where the nerves were cracking where the voltage drips to the skin, an hour and a half where the viewer is put to the test. Because the film is a slow and long journey of suffering, like an arm of iron, with a masochism morale, where everyone would lose a part of humanity.
“A work that is felt at every moment, in the depths of her flesh and supported by this fear oozing that confirms no sequence.”
Create a mark around the nothingness of existential death that pursues us, that life in suspension, always in unstable balance between this openness as a “slice of life” and these moments of explosion, between the present moment and the danger to come. A leitmotif obsessive death leading ultimately to launch a film under tension. Because of this fatalism oppressive, the exhibition becomes all the more diabolical. Cockroaches, the misery, the rain, the fatigue scorching, the hunger…
Las Pierdas, a place that would exist only as a metaphor of a world that crumbled, a purgatory where men fail when the company decided to store them in the category of junk. People to before, down there, lost in their own death, where the paradise air wants to be unreachable, and the hell of fire oil on hand : a metro ticket, unusable, the only tie-in to the company for Montand. Men who would thus die a second time.And in this exhibition on the border of documentary, Clouzot seems to want to feed the fiction of this social dimension, a kind of synthesis of the misery of these countries-Latin americans, where the violent social contrasts are rubbing against the face of the ascendancy of capitalist (the United States censureront also the first part of the movie). A whole movie of domination, where the money is crushing the human, where the rich thrives in the misery of the poor, and where the apparent solidarity disintegrates in the face of individualism.
In this greed, dehumanizing, the Treasure of the Sierra Madre is never far away. Even the Woman is reduced to her animal nature : “It is his day off ” ad Yves Montand, as to support these (against)-dives sovereign where Vera Clouzot cleans the floor, on all fours, stuck to the servility, and the object of sexual attraction. Almost a kind of hell male where as the friendships sadomasos reigns a true homosexuality latent, where the only woman, is only an elusive beauty eaten away by madness : Mario and his tank top, body glistening with sweat, eroded by the pain, immersed in a pool of oil, not without recalling a certain scene in the bath in Spartacus, the brutality.
However, the most pessimism apparent as to the human nature, Clouzot makes his film adventures into a real political cinema, gross, muddy, where the Evil capitalist gradually spread into madness of its characters. As for a witness of a reality that éclabousserait until the hope of escape dies in a last gasp : “The stockade. That is what there was behind ? –Nothing “. The whole show, in his insolent length, only contributes to better reinforce this dehumanization : a construction disturbing at first, but an incredible subtlety. Because the first part is that of appearances, smooth surface, beautiful speakers and solidarity hopes ; before the second scratch all by revealing the true nature of Man, revealed by the Fear of reversing the correlation of forces.A Fear which draws in the thirst for the absolute, where the dollar is the primary cause of death. Two trucks, four men, cans of nitroglycerin, and death in every second. Everything tends to be oppression while the felt is should be, almost anti-claustrophobique.
And yet there is all the paradox, in these external leakage, open spaces confining the Man to the void, to the hostility even of the decor, until the risk becomes an integral part of it : there lies the talent of Clouzot, namely, to shape each advanced in a hellish ordeal, a question of life or death, both for his characters and for the spectators. Thus, the cowardice of Oj is ours, as in the end our compromise in the inevitable passivity in the face of the fate of the characters. A fate that has plagued us, that we écartèle in the middle of this still life, sticky, and rocky ; in the image of this scene from ” space bridge, unstable “, or ” the rock explosive “, the sensational show is approaching it from a real mental torture.
“Continue to move for the black color of the silver in spite of the friendships that break such as a leg under a wheel of semi-trailer.”
Even more, all the tension, all the murmuring of the work could condense into a single scene, love-hate, where Montand and Vanel have to cross a pool of oil : the sadism at its worst, for a symbolism of the most evocative. A kind off gross in the rat race, where everything is drowning in nihilism. Continue to move for the black color of the silver in spite of the friendships that break such as a leg under a wheel of semi-trailer. The scene wants to be slow, lengthy, and deeply memorable, before the reconciliation does not lead to a form of resignation. It is too late, because to survive the death may be the gate of entry.
Just as the final zigzags emotional, where the joy of survival and the waltz in the mounting Cut animate the Beautiful Blue Danube, a fall of almost liberating. And in this climate where everything seems to explode at the slightest shock, it could be seen as a metaphor of the production of Clouzot, the image of this project had an abortion in Brazil : a kind of inner journey of the filmmaker and the journey of his film ; to seek perfection in the culmination of the failure. Clouzot face of the confession of the mirror, the vulnerable, under its seeming brutality.Halfway between the poetry and the darkness, yet there is in THE WAGES OF FEAR something infinitely beautiful, which can not be assessed with a certain nostalgia : the texture, the grain, these plans luminously contrasting, etc., And in the words if the righteous d’Henri Magnan: “if it is true that a good sonnet is better than a nasty long poem, I am not afraid to say that the long poem of Clouzot is preferable to a good sonnet “.
Because its WAGES OF FEAR is a poetry gross, most black and most purple of them all. A kind of postcard that would not have denied Camus, where everything converges towards the breakaway of a ” sentenced to death “. A bit like Celine too, at the bottom cold, pessimistic, epic, but at the heart is a radiant beauty. All the more that the writing of Georges Arnaud’s is deeply cinematic, made of these moments, rough, dry, and ambiguous.
“His Salary of the Peurest a poetry gross, most black and most purple of them all.”
Something to attract the eye, nervous of Clouzot’s where the camera would capture the movements of the Greatest to condense in a spectacular singularity, there where there are shadows without color, for a film of textures, of wetness. Because the camera has its word to say, so that the dialogues aim to never burden the spirit of the Images. Images that the germanic influence is felt even on the precision of the framing and the use of chiaroscuro. Art truly plastic in the end.
Also commend the magnificent work of the operators who have been able to make the Camargue a vision still more moist, more scorching than the Brazilian himself. And this Obsession with Images, Clouzot wants to wear a germ-a-style “american-style” that allows the WAGES OF FEAR to be inserted at the international level.
Since it would be important to remind ourselves that all paths lead to the WAGES OF FEAR, a work of the scope as intense as a Journey to the end of hell. Friedkin in colorisera the darkness in his beautiful and powerful Sorcerer, all the while boosting the ambitions not only through the intense sequence of the bridge on a background of a tropical storm. And we often forget that John McClane has all of the reinvention/americanization of the character ofYves Montand : of sweat soaking her tank top to the charismatic determination, only changing the goal-the purity of love against alienation of the dollar.Hold his breath, petrify snap and drown in his own sweat. Suffice to say that THE WAGES OF FEAR household positively its audience, not only in tension but also in poetry and the attachment. A film to the image of his director, a filmmaker whose quest for perfection and cinema has never ceased to fuel his legend of a manic obsessive, cruel and mysterious. His work oozing with virtuosity and despair. And once one has tasted this fatality-to-black, there is nothing that we can deviate from the masterpiece to travel.
Because to contemplate THE WAGES OF FEAR, it is a little be behind the wheel of his own lovers, varying with the wire of the turns and stops, between obstacles and greatness of a work of eternal aura. As if all those moments were meant to explode at a moment or another of the trip. A one-way trip, because as any movie buff knows, the Cinema is a disease without cure, a dream without end. Remains only to admire at never this huge moment in cinema, where Clouzot is already dreaming to make his Hell. Finally, still and always the story of a world that would be reduced to a No Man’s Land…
Your opinion ?
• Realization :Henri-Georges Clouzot
• Screenplay :Henri-Georges Clouzot, Jerome Geromini, based on the novel by Georges Arnaud
• Main actors : Yves Montand, Charles Vanel, Peter van Eyck, Folco Lulli, Véra Clouzot, William Tubbs, Dario Moreno
• Release Date : 22 April 1953
• Date of resumption : November 8, 2017
• Duration : 2h28min