Sunday, October 24, 2010

♥ Mademoiselle (Tony Richardson, 1966) ♥


This has got to be one of the most wonderful movies I've seen in my life! Every frame is truly a work of art and Jeanne Moreau is such a terrific actress that is just impossible to take your eyes away from her. She makes this movie come to life, even if throughtout most scenes she is really restrained and the dialogue is minimal, just a turn of her head, the way she looks away or how pensive she seems makes this character perfectly believeable.

Her name is Mademoiselle (a real name is never given), a repressed and utterly self-righteous school teacher in a small french village. Since the movie begins it is clear to the viewer that she's an absolute force of evil. She is heartless, unemotional and cruel. The film has this seductive film noir atmosphere with open landscapes of lonely fields and people just lazing around town without knowing the dangerous evil creature that glooms around them. The villagers have the highest esteem for her, they describe her as a chaste virginal beautiful woman, incapable of doing any wrong to a living soul, what they'll never know is that Mademoiselle herself is guilty of flooding the town, setting barns on fire, poisoning the water that animals drink and killng a few people on her way. She plans everything in advance and her house is an immaculate place filled with things that she will often use for the kill.

Everytime she is about to go on one of her little adventures she dresses helself for murder. She wears her hair in a tight high bun, pencils her eyebrows and her lovely eyes with miles long lashes. She wears chiffon dresses, black heels and scarfs around her hair sometimes, she is evil in every sense of the word, she goes about every terrible thing she does with such ease and lack of remorse that it's really hard not to wish for her to be punished. She is often seen teaching in a little classroom, personifying little miss perfect and is later seen as the blackest most dangerous widow.

There is also a little catch to her madness, Manou, a darling Italian lumberjack, with golden skin and a dreadful accent. He is everything she despises, he is loud and vulgar, he sleeps around and is despised by every man in town and she loves every bit of it. She spies on him and listens to every gossip about him around town, she is obsessed with him, with all the ladies he sleeps with, with his son, whom she teaches at school and whom she mistreats and insults at every chance she gets. I believe that all the agression unleashed agaisnt his kid, is an unconcious way to deal with her own sexual desire. I've noticed certain scenes where she tell him things that I believe she would tell herself if she could
"you are dirty, your are awful, you are disgusting"

Manou, the hunky italian, is also one of the firsts that will jump to help around at every disaster she causes. He saves animals from drowning, he runs and climbs and throws himself into the fire, he is innocence and wholesomeness personified. He rises from the flames, he helps the same villagers who dispise him and who want him out of town. After a little while, it is easy to see how the fires and floods occur more often and somewhere in the background, there is Mademoiselle, looking at him with hunger, licking her lips and watching Manou risk his life to fix what she broke. Every fire is a metaphor for her burning reckless desire. She wants him and she wants him bad and then it is easy to follow the erotic pathway of the movie. Every fire is for him, a way to get him, to hurt him, to have him.

When she realizes that the villagers are holding Manou accountable for all the mess that has happened in town and he soon might be thrown out, she changes her approach. She finds him in the woods and the next thing we see is the two of them kissing in the dark, we see his hands around her face, her hair is let loose and after a kiss, she throws herself at his feet and starts licking his boots. If this not wanting someone badly, I do not know what could it be!

Thunders are roaring, the chase starts, her dress is loose and her lips are open. They kiss and kiss and because it's a movie from 1966 we never get to see them having sex but if you've watched this movie, you know they did. They fucked all night long (pardon my french) but, they fucked and fucked and fucked until there was no more thrist in their bodies. All the villagers are looking for Manou to kill him but they are lost in the woods, still kissing and rolling around in the grass like teenagers. She licks a Saint Chistopher medal that hangs around his neck and he laughs and he laughs so loud but she just looks at him with burning fever. She wants him and it's beautiful to watch.

The next morning, while the villagers are still looking for Manou, we see Mademoiselle crawling all over him, she throws moss and grass at his face while he pretends to be asleep, she crawls on top of him and she licks his face, wonderfully! this is my absolutely favorite moment of the movie, you can hear her tongue gliding over his harsh two-days beard, she licks his chin, his nose, like a kitten, she kisses his forehead and then still sat on top of him, she purrs and she whines and moans like a puppy, and then he laughs, terribly loud again. She purrs and licks him like there is no tomorrow and if this is not one of the most erotic moments in cinema, then I don't even want to know what people find erotic these days.

After they've finished making love (fucking), they start to come back and he tells her that he'll be leaving with his son. She runs away and when the villagers see her, shoeless and messy, with her face covered with mud, they take her to her house and before she comes in, they ask her if he was the one who did all this wrong to her, to which witout any remorse she anwers "yes".

The next thing we know, Manou is killed and Mademoiselle is in her bedroom sleeping it all away.

The movie ends as Mademoiselle leaves town in a fancy car as Manou's son spits at the very sight of her.
You know she is just going to find another job, another guy and get him killed after she licks his face like a cat in heat.


for more stills go here:



Mignonette said...

Wonderful review! You know I adore this film - thanks to you.

I never ever read reviews before I see a film because I don't want the review to affect my opinion on the film...


Sara B. said...

Y E S ! ! !