Director: Florent-Emilio Siri
Starring: Jêrémie Renier, Benoît Magimel, Monica Scattini, Ana Girardot, Sabrina Seyvecou.
Release Date: Friday 29th June
Documenting the life of French pop legend Claude François, Cloclo is the masterpiece biopic that gives an uncompromising account of the singer who became a visionary, innovator and national treasure.
Cloclo is one of the first big productions from director and co-writer Florent-Emilio Siri, who shot the film with the same perfectionism employed by the pop-singer himself. The story of Claude François (or CloClo, as his fans christened him) is told in fast-moving snippets, progressing from his childhood years into his era of massive success, which lasted a near-unbroken twenty years on the top of the French pop music scene.
The screenplay is predominantly true-to-life, albeit with the selective omission of some of François’ less successful years. One of the greatest strengths of the film, however, is the remarkably honest portrayal it gives of its hero, François. Notorious for being a perfectionist and borderline megalomaniac, Francois was often perceived as an enigma by the public. The film offers an authentically fascinating insight into the life of the superstar. Renier brings a unique passion to the protagonist, while simultaneously illustrating the lunacy behind some of the singer’s practices.
A high point for the film is its soundtrack- the anthology of Claude François carries the storyline with the occasional input from the great influences to François. We follow Claude to concerts of his contemporaries Frank Sinatra and Otis Redding, and we see the continual progression of his own sound as a result. Certainly a film for any music lover or pop aficionado, Cloclo facilitates the rediscovery of the golden years of pop- performed with the most sincere emotion. The sights and sounds that create the backdrop to the film instil a certain magic in the viewer.
Finally, if the reader has intentions of seeing Cloclo, go with the provision of being as uninformed as possible about the life of Claude François. The art of good story-telling is not lost on this film, and in the interest of preserving the magic of cinema, do not google him.
In a Nutshell: Cloclo is a music biopic that contests the standards set by Walk The Line and Control. A masterpiece not to be missed.
by Emily Longworth