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First published at eurOut

A beautiful woman is smoking, her face covered in glittering body paint and illuminated by undulating lights. Who is she?

The first name that you think of will most probably not be Romy Schneider. Excusable, but still wrong as you can see in the embedded clip from the movie L'Enfer.

Two and a half very colourful minutes of Romy Schneider beyond all clichés; via ParkCircusFilms

Most people best remember Romy Schneider as Sissi in the film of the same name, and the well educated lesBian will probably remember her as Manuela von Meinhardis in the 1958 version of Mädchen in Uniform.

Romy Schneider as Odette (L'Enfer, 1964)

But Romy Schneider herself was never satisfied with her image as the cute, slightly dumb Empress of Austria (an image which isn't only insulting to Romy, but also to the Empress herself, by the way). In her pursuit of a more artistically satisfying acting career she took on the part of Odette in L'Enfer, Henri-Georges Clouzot's famous unfinished film. There she portrays Odette, the wife of extremely jealous hotelier Marcel (Serge Reggiani).

Romy Schneider and Henri-Georges Clouzot

The director had an unlimited budget at his disposal and was highly ambitious. Yet the project was doomed. After various complications Clouzot had to abandon the project only three weeks into filming when he suffered from a stroke. It is said that he suffered this heart attack while they were filming a lesbian love scene between Dany Carrel and Romy herself. The stunning images they'd already created should be lost to the public for decades.

Cover of Romy — Die unveröffentlichten Bilder aus "Inferno"

Finally Serge Bromberg convinced Clouzot's widow to disclose the original footage to enable him to reconstruct the legendary film. Initially he'd only expected to find two or three hours of material, but there were fifteen (derstandard). In 2009 Serge Bromberg and Ruxandrea Medra present their semi-documentary L'enfer d'Henri-Georges Clouzot at the Cannes Film Festival.

Recently a book with heretofore unseen stills and set shots from the filming of L'Enfer has been published in Germany. Romy — Die unveröffentlichten Bilder aus "Inferno" features 198 pictures and is accompanied by an introduction by Serge Bromberg.

Both the film L'enfer d'Henri-Georges Clouzot and the book are now available for purchase.

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joan_psmith: name icon (Default)
Joan Y. Psmith
"Because we're grown-ups now, and it's our turn to decide what that means."
~ xkcd

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