A movie log formerly known as Bookishness / By Charles Matthews

"Dazzled by so many and such marvelous inventions, the people of Macondo ... became indignant over the living images that the prosperous merchant Bruno Crespi projected in the theater with the lion-head ticket windows, for a character who had died and was buried in one film and for whose misfortune tears had been shed would reappear alive and transformed into an Arab in the next one. The audience, who had paid two cents apiece to share the difficulties of the actors, would not tolerate that outlandish fraud and they broke up the seats. The mayor, at the urging of Bruno Crespi, explained in a proclamation that the cinema was a machine of illusions that did not merit the emotional outbursts of the audience. With that discouraging explanation many ... decided not to return to the movies, considering that they already had too many troubles of their own to weep over the acted-out misfortunes of imaginary beings."
--Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Une Parisienne (Michel Boisrond, 1957)

Brigitte Bardot and Henri Vidal in Une Parisienne
Brigitte Laurier: Brigitte Bardot
Michel Legrand: Henri Vidal
President Alcide Laurier: André Luguier
Prince Charles: Charles Boyer
Monique Wilson: Madeleine Lebeau
Caroline Herblay: Claire Maurier
M. d'Herblay: Noël Roquevert
Queen Greta: Nadia Gray

Director: Michel Boisrond
Screenplay: Annette Wademant, Jean Aurel, Jacques Emmanuel, Michel Boisrond
Cinematography: Marcel Grignon
Production design: Jean André
Film editing: Claudine Bouché

Michel Boisrond's Une Parisienne is also known as La Parisienne. I don't know why the indefinite article used for the original release in France was later changed to a definite article, but I wonder if the thinking was something like that of the French censors when they made Jean-Luc Godard change the title of his 1964 film from La Femme Mariée (The Married Woman) to Une Femme Mariée (A Married Woman): They insisted that the definite article implied a kind of case study, that the adulterous wife of Godard's film became typical of all married women; changing the definite article to an indefinite one turned the film into the story of one and only one married woman. So maybe taking the reverse route, changing "a Parisian woman" into "the Parisian woman," was the producers' way of suggesting that all Parisian women were like Brigitte Bardot, then at her perky peak as an international sex symbol. Whatever the reason for the title change, Boisrond's film is a fairly banal sex farce, and the only reason to watch it is Bardot -- no one was ever more skilled at exploiting her own charms -- and some nice comic support from Henri Vidal and Charles Boyer, who gives himself over to this nonsense with his usual charm and professionalism.

No comments: