Skip navigation

Category Archives: Pierre Clémenti

In the annals of cinema it would be harder to find a more stylish film than Luis Bunuel’s 1967 masterwork Belle de Jour.
Catherine Denueve, of course, looks marvelous throughout, but here I will concern myself with another equally irresistible carachter, Marcel, played by Pierre Clémenti (1942 – 1999).
Marcel is a hoodlum.
His hair swept forward almost down to his interrogating eyes, he has something of a look of Scott Walker. His crowning glory is his mouthful of metal teeth (knocked out at one blow… he explains with his customary dismissive braggadocio).
With his long leather trenchcoat and his swordstick , there is a somnambulistic strangeness about his swagger, this lithe dark predator whose pained features might have been drawn by Cocteau.
The devil is in the detail-his menacing lowslung belt,his vagabond boots and garish ties- the suit he wears with loose disdain.
But what I admire most about him is his passion, and his death, gunned down in the street by a cop, is flawless.
For all his otherworldliness Marcel has a hole in his sock,just as you or I might have. Towards the end of the film we see Severine whiling away the time, penitently sitting with the husband that Marcel has crippled. She works at an embroidery.In a happier world she would be darning that sock.