Clément. Clément gets lost in history because he wasn’t from the French New Wave—yet his best film came out in 1960- a year overstuffed with brilliant films. For the purposes of this list, Clément’s strength is that he has a top 500 of all-time film (Purple Noon– there are hardly any of the top 500 left) and has not one but two films in the top 100 of their respective decade (Purple Noon and Forbidden Games). His weakness would be that there isn’t much after that (at least that I’ve seen).
Best film: Purple Noon. If you’re familiar with Patricia Highsmith in cinema or this story – this is The Talented Mr. Ripley. Alain Delon is incredible (and what a year he had between this and Rocco and His Brothers with Visconti) and Clément chooses not to moralize or set overly sentimental and it pays off. This is a beautiful, cold thriller that is carefully constructed and a clear artistic triumph
total archiveable films: 3
top 100 films: 0
top 500 films: 1 (Purple Noon)
top 100 films of the decade: 2 (Forbidden Games, Purple Noon)
most overrated: Clément does not have an overrated film. Forbidden Games is at #823 on the TSPDT all-time consensus top 2000—a fine spot for it– and Purple Noon (also known as Plein Soleil) is vastly underrated.
most underrated : Purple Noon is about 1000 slots lower on the TSPDT than my list. They have it at #1435
gem I want to spotlight : Forbidden Games. A war film told through the eyes of children—the premise has nothing in common with Clément’s Purple Noon on the service, but the unsentimental telling of the story does.
- Masterful in his lack of editorializing—his two best films tell the tale of war, and a sociopath, without sermonizing— though it isn’t nearly as good- The Damned does the same thing. It is a ruthlessly ugly film that shows the horrors of the Nazi’s in an candid way—this has a chilling effect- and mirrors Clément technical fastidiousness
- Purple Noon’s mise-en-scene is designed to the last detail: every thread on Delon’s suit is put there on purpose, as is the color of the fruit and vegetables. Cold precision.
- Since they both brilliantly adapted Highsmith, were both strict and meticulous- it’s hard not to compare Clément to Hitchcock
- Purple Noon
- Forbidden Games
- The Damned
By year and grades
|1947- The Damned||R|
|1952- Forbidden Games||HR/MS|
|1960- Purple Noon||MS|
*MP is Masterpiece- top 1-3 quality of the year film
MS is Must-see- top 5-6 quality of the year film
HR is Highly Recommend- top 10 quality of the year film
R is Recommend- outside the top 10 of the year quality film but still in the archives
Just saw Purple Noon’s 4K restauration on big screen today and loved it. Went right into my top 25 favorite films. A must-see.
Great cinematography, plot, script, dialogue, thrills and acting, especially from Delon. He’s incredibly charismatic and the range of behaviour he shows is absolutely spectacular; he’s unpredictable, creepy, funny, reckless, brave, gutless, crafty, and seductive to name some of those forms of behaviour.
I’m with you on that it’s not hard to compare Clement to Hitchcock. The tension just grows towards the end of the film. Felt like I was watching a Hitchcock film.