Arena del Sole > 11:15


Introduced by

Volker Schlöndorff


Thursday 22/07/2021


Original version with subtitles


Film Notes

In 1964, Henri-Georges Clouzot chose Romy Schneider, 26, and Serge Reggiani, 42, to star in L’Enfer. An enigmatic and quirky project, with an unlimited budget: a movie that would be major event in the film world when it was released. But after extended rehearsals and barely three weeks of shooting, the production was suddenly interrupted. First Reggiani, then Clouzot himself, suffered health problems that were serious enough to put an end to the project. A sublime calamity that cinephiles still talk about today. This revolutionary film promised to be like something that had never been seen before. The scenes that had been shot were said to be mesmerising, incredible, astonishing and often incomprehensible. These images, forgotten for half a century, have now been rediscovered. They tell the story of a unique film – madness and jealousy filmed with subjective camera – the story of a cursed shoot and that of Clouzot, who had given free rein to his filmmaking genius. Never had Schneider been so beautiful and mesmerising. Never could an author have been so intensely close to the hero they invented.

Serge Bromberg, L’Enfer d’Henri-Georges Clouzot (booklet), Lobster Films, 2017

Cast and Credits

DCP. D.: 5’ (screen test reel). Col.


Film Notes

In this film, with dialogue by Marguerite Duras, Romy Schneider develops in a world she relishes: a story that could be a Greek tragedy, a literary text. In it, she plays the part of Julia Kreuz, a woman who admits to her husband that she gave up her child six years before. She gets it into her head to find him. Knocking on the door of the couple who adopted her little boy, Julie causes a scandal from which there will be no coming back. The reunion, the discord between the couple, then the heartbreak caused by the battle for the child, enable Romy Schneider to employ all her talents as a grieving mother and a tragic figure. Her German leading man, Hans Christian Blech, was a star at the time and featured in The Longest Day (1962). The film was significant in that it was the starting point of a deep friendship between Romy Schneider and Michel Piccoli. He would become her accomplice, her friend, her confidant and her partner in around a dozen films. He lends his stature and his warm, reassuring voice to the character of Werner Kreuz, the patient husband, who doesn’t doubt from the start that his wife is increasingly wracked with guilt. Filmed in black and white, the movie is pared down, almost in the spirit of the New Wave. The music comes courtesy of the talented composer, Antoine Duhamel, whose score features mournful trumpets resonating throughout the film […]. The lack of understanding between the couple is taken to the highest level by these two actors, performing in perfect harmony. We know how the mysterious alchemy between these two, who identified with each other and became like brother and sister, went on to delight filmmakers. Claude Sautet, to name one, picked up on it quickly. Schneider, tormented, preoccupied, her brow furrowed, opposite a phlegmatic Piccoli: and we can imagine how these scenarios of amorous conflict might have inspired Marguerite Duras.

Isabelle Giordano, Romy Schneider: Film par film, Gallimard, Paris 2017

Cast and Credits

Sog.: Jean Chapot, Alain Fatou. Scen.: Jean Chapot, Marguerite Duras. F.: Jean Penzer. M.: Ginette Boudet. Scgf.: Willy Schatz. Mus.: Antoine Duhamel. Int.: Romy Schneider (Julia Kreuz), Michel Piccoli (Werner Kreuz), Hans Christian Blech (Radek Kostrowitz), Mario Huth (Carlo), Sonia Schwarz (signora Kostrowitz). Prod.: Claude Jaeger, Hans Oppenheimer per Chronos Films, Procinex, Hans Oppenheimer Film GmbH. DCP. Bn.