Hellfire Video Club presents
Dir Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1968, France, 106 mins, French with English Subtitles, Over 18s only. Doors 8pm
Wed 28 June // 20:00
Tickets: £5 (full) / £4 (concession)
The film editor wife of an art gallery owner is drawn into a dangerous triangle with a mysterious kinetic artist exhibiting at her husband’s gallery. Simultaneously repelled and attracted by his photographic images of submission, she finds herself drawn into a devastating triangle of claustrophobic mind-games.
Sometimes referred to as the ‘French Hitchcock’ for his taut mastery of the psychological thriller, Clouzot directed this, his rarely screened final (and only completed, colour) film in 1968, after the collapse of his beloved ‘Inferno’ project, for which he spent years experimenting with the optical and visual effects he puts to stunning use here.
As well as serving as a carving-knife-sharp study of subjugation, and canny dissection of bourgeois pretensions (it is French after all), La Prisonnière is chock-full of incredible 60s space age design, and climaxes with the absolute most mind-bending psychedelic freakout that maps inner space the way Kubrick’s 2001 maps outer.
Who wants fifty shades of grey when you can get F-I-F-T-Y-T-H-O-U-S-A-N-D shades of refracting colour?
Presented alongside Woman of the Dunes (Wed 21st June), as a loosely themed exploration of restriction, repression, ennui and empowerment through enslavement and assimilation, these immensely striking and very different films offer an entry into their confined and astoundingly visual worlds, and hopefully a safe landing in the Cube auditorium at the end…