René Clément

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René Clément (1995)

René Clément (born March 18, 1913 in Bordeaux , France , † March 17, 1996 in Monaco ) was a French film director .


Clément, the son of a decorator, attended high school in Bordeaux and the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris , where he studied architecture. After the death of his father he dropped out of his studies and turned to the film, for which he had already developed a great passion as a teenager.

René Clément's work is mostly viewed as controversial. Sometimes he is referred to as a "vulgar" technician without a soul, sometimes elevated to the rank of the best French cineast. In 1934 he met Jacques Tati and has worked with him ever since. He did his military service with the film unit Service cinématographique . He made his first short film in 1936 together with Jacques Tati, the simply staged comedy Gib's him mit der Linken . He also began making documentaries in the 1930s. In 1937 he traveled to Yemen with the archaeologist Jules Barthou to make a documentary about the country. He fell ill with typhoid and was arrested several times.

During the Second World War, he continued to turn to documentaries until he chose the Resistance theme as the driving force for his first feature film in 1945 . A year later, Schienenschlacht appeared in cinemas, and Clément was one of the most successful directors in France in the post-war period. The films that followed in the next few years continued to deal with the Resistance and the consequences of the war. Eight years later he had his greatest success, Verbotene Spiele (1952), which won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and the Oscar for best foreign language film.

He used different styles for each new film, touching almost every genre: from literary adaptations such as Gervaise (1956, based on the novel L'Assomoir by Zola ) or Plein soleil (1960, based on the novel The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith ) Thrillers like Le passager de la pluie (1969) and La course du lièvre à travers les champs (1972), to psychological films like Félins (1962) and a reminder of the Second World War in "Paris brûle-t-il?" (1966).

Two of René Clement's directorial works were awarded the Oscar for best foreign language film : 1951 The Walls of Malapaga and 1953 Forbidden Games . In 1986 he was elected to the Académie des Beaux-Arts .




  • Peter Theml: [Article] René Clément. In: Thomas Koebner (Ed.): Film directors. Biographies, descriptions of works, filmographies. 3rd, updated and extended edition, Reclam, Stuttgart 2008 [1. Ed. 1999], ISBN 978-3-15-010662-4 , pp. 136-138 [with references].

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. René Clément . In: Internationales Biographisches Archiv 26/1996 from June 17, 1996 (accessed via Munzinger Online ).
  2. ^ Thomas Koebner: René Clément . In: film directors . 2008, pp. 136-138.