The Mediascape Blog is proud to present an interview with French filmmaker Jackie Raynal. During a recent visit to UCLA, Mrs. Raynal discussed her pioneering experiences as a female editor working in the postwar French film industry, her collaborations with Eric Rohmer and other New Wave artists, and her career as a director and curator. The interview was conducted by students in the Cinema and Media Studies department and graciously sponsored by Dr. Janet Bergstrom. Special thanks to Shannon O’Kelley, director of the Billy Wilder Theater in Los Angeles, whose presence during the interview immensely enriched the conversation. The interview can be downloaded or listened to below.
Click to download “JackieRaynal.mp3” (81 minutes, 38 MB)
Image 1: Le Corbeau (1943)
The palpable sense of hysteria and panic that accompanied the establishment of the Vichy regime in Southern France is brilliantly captured in Henri-Georges Clouzot’s 1943 film Le Corbeau. One of the most controversial films of the era, Le Corbeau is a dark parable about the detrimental impact of paranoia on the human psyche. While nearly all of the characters of this film warrant individual study, it is Clouzot’s depiction of women that continues to be a source of debate among scholars today. Alan Williams feels that Le Corbeau shows female characters as “figures of both knowledge and redemption…[representing] an almost visceral grasping for light in the darkness and hope at a time of deepest despair.”1 In contrast, Evelyn Ehrlich feels that the film rejects this idealized view of women, arguing, “No other film made during the occupation was so fundamentally opposed to all values and principles of the Vichy regime.”2 To Ehrlich, Le Corbeau rejects the idea of the woman as a beacon of hope and a source of moral purity and instead shows the fraudulence and degeneracy behind this ideal. The film shows the duplicity of all human beings, and women are no exception. One of the best examples of Clouzot revealing the corrupt nature of seemingly virtuous people is seen in the character of Dr. Vorzet’s wife, Laura. Continue reading “Representations of Femininity in Henri-Georges Clouzot’s ‘Le Corbeau’” »