Dir. Henri-Georges Clouzot (1943).
In his brilliantly nasty second feature, Clouzot takes a clinical pleasure in detailing a small town’s moral disintegration and morbid sexuality as it is “terrorized” by a writer of anonymous poison-pen letters. This deeply unflattering social portrait, in which all authority is held up to ridicule, was attacked, and briefly banned, after the Liberation as collaborationist. Seen today, it seems more an exposé of, than an apology for, occupied France.
Sat., Dec. 17, 7:45 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 18, 2:30 p.m., 2011