The director of 1964’s Inferno went crazy and had a final breakdown in the middle of re-shooting the big lesbian sex scene. A documentary gathering up the pieces of the psychedelic psychodrama is now playing at the IFC center.
Smoking backwards, wagging a blue tongue, covered in glitter, seducing every man and woman in sight – that’s the heroine of Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Inferno. The “French Hitchcock,” Clouzot tortured his actors 24-7 and blinded them with undulating kaleidoscope lighting. But, in the attempt to show jealousy as a mental illness, Clouzot’s own took over and all that’s left is reels of footage and a hell of a behind-the-scenes story.
See the money shots of fun-house mirror distortions, color inversions and percussive zoom effects in the clip reel above and in the doc trailer here. They’re ahead of their time and ripe for rip-offs in music videos.