147 mins, France-Italy, 1953, Digital, Black and White, Subtitled

This screening will be introduced by Dr Douglas Smith, Senior Lecturer, School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics, UCD.

Trapped in a remote South America town, four men are hired to drive two trucks loaded with nitro-glycerine explosives across 300 miles of treacherous roads to a blazing oil well. With a tremendous cast including Charles Vanel and Yves Montand, Clouzot creates a suffocating atmosphere as fear and desperation mount in this Golden Bear and Palme d’or-winning film. Charged with being anti-American and critiquing Western colonialism and capitalism, the film was heavily censored on its original North American release.

Notes by Marie-Pierre Richard

We are delighted to present four features by writer/director Henri-Georges Clouzot (1907-1977), which established him as a master of suspense, often termed ‘the French Hitchcock’. Dark, stylish, with an uncomfortable realism, Clouzot’s cinema brings us critique of bourgeois society, human obsession, neurosis, anxiety, paranoia and fear, all in meticulously detailed, atmospheric scenes and with wonderful turns by some of the great postwar French actors –Pierre Fresnay, Bernard Blier, Louis Jouvet, Paul Meurisse, Simone Signoret, Yves Montand, Charles Vanel, and without forgetting his wife Véra Clouzot. Click for details.

Programme organised with the support of the Institut Français, Paris and the French Embassy in Ireland. Special thanks to Christine Houard, Institut Français; Cultural Services of the French Embassy in Ireland.

Screening as part of the IFI French Film Festival – November 14th to 25th

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