Saturday, August 30, 2008

Catherine And Co.

This French sex comedy (in a classical mode) may have seemed like an odd choice for WW. It was, actually. It's a truly elegant, extremely European comedy of manners and mores. It seemed oddly highbrow, even though it was a sex movie all the way.

I enjoyed the hell out of it and the audience seemed to as well, despite the almost-total lack of bad taste. Credit screenwriter Catherine Breillaut with feminizing and humanizing what could have been a pretty silly film.

After the show, one longtime WW-goer said that the movie had ruined Jane Birkin for him because it showed too much of her. It's true that she has kind of an ungainly, clumsy body, her profile isn't classical and her teeth are huge and irregularly spaced. All the more proof that there's nothing more boring on the screen than perfection. In the '50s when the Hollywood film industry had finally assembled a stable of perfect Natalie Woods and Grace Kellys, whose faces had the sort of perfect symmetry that could be measured and standardized, Europe invaded with a whole assault force of thoroughly imperfect "sex goddesses." Silvana Mangano, Sophia Loren, Gina Lollobrigida, Jeanne Moreau, Monica Vitti, Anita Ekberg and of course Brigitte Bardot made American arthouses much more inviting for audiences of males starved for sensuality and "earthiness". Most of the above actresses could never have gotten a screen test in Hollywood, except as a casting-couch stratagem. The European beauties had something much more thrilling than aesthetic "perfection" (whatever that means) and I feel the same way about Jane Birkin. When she's onscreen it's hard to look at anything else and her style of dressing and undressing and slouching around elegant parties is so insolent it's gorgeous.

By the way, Weird Wednesday/Terror Thursday super-regular Chris Popkoff has written up C&C in his excellent blog, Who Put The Pop in Popkoff? Check it out. Here are some clip and save photos of Jane Birkin, and sometimes Serge Gainsbourg - who's also pretty kickass - and will get even more kickass once the hipsters get over him.

No comments: