Clouzot and the cinema
in Henri-Georges Clouzot
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This chapter examines in the broad context Clouzot and his cinema, situating him in the wider context of French history and cinema in the mid-twentieth century. The chapter explores the forces, personal, political and social, that shaped his career as a filmmaker. It also highlights the extent to which his films propose a consistent, personal vision, and the way they reflect the important social and aesthetic changes of his time. Furthermore, it explores the question of whether Clouzot qualifies as an auteur, as an original and innovative creator, or whether he was essentially a technically brilliant craftsman, a skilled manipulator of audiences, who produced a series of arresting genre films. Finally, it asks if his films were influenced in any way by the rise of the New Wave of French directors and critics from the late 1950s, or was it that they remained rooted in what some hostile commentators saw as a conventional and stultifying classicism.

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