Noir City X raises a glass to cinematic bad girls
In keeping with the Pacific Film Archive's unofficial late-January tradition of running complimentary programming during Noir City, a retrospective of the films of French suspense auteur Henri-Georges Clouzot offers a more nuanced gloss on noir's troubled women. Simone Signoret and Clouzot's own wife, Véra, deliver a master class in how to simultaneously do and be undone by a dirty deed in Diabolique (1955). Perhaps more apropos to the dragon-tattooed girl is Clouzot's final feature Woman in Chains (1968), which, much like Michael Powell's tour de force Peeping Tom (1960), lays bare the operations of cinema's gendered voyeurism by having the kinky Josée (Elisabeth Wiener) turning the gaze back on both her artist boyfriend and the amateur pornographer who covets her — a reversal that Clouzot formally mirrors in the film's electric finale. Though she might not show it, I think Lisbeth Salander would be pleased.
NOIR CITY X
Jan. 20-29, $10-$15
429 Castro, SF
"HENRI-GEORGES CLOUZOT: THE CINEMA OF DISENCHANTMENT"
Through Feb. 4, $5.50-$9.50
Pacific Film Archive
2575 Bancroft, Berk.