HEAVY WORDS ARE SO LIGHTLY THROWN
I think we should re-adopt the phrase "in love" to take over the more serious crushes we have in our life. It's become so heavy, we've lost the innocence of the phrase. It occurred to me while watching Merchant Ivory's The Europeans, where Lee Remick's character often refers to the young boy who is "in love" with her, and in that context--and in the context of most period society dramas, including I believe the oft-mentioned Nancy Mitford books--it's completely allowable. In fact, the stories themselves would not even exist without these heartfelt interactions. I mean, I have crushes like mad; the list of girls I have crushes on would fill this blog--but there a couple who I wouldn't mind being able to distinguish as the ones I am "in love" with, since they are more special.
Who are they? Wouldn't you like to know!
And, of course, I would extend this to movie stars, as well. Because I am completely in love with Jeanne Moreau.
Christopher McQuain (who unbeknownst to himself made a very obscure cameo in yesterday's section of The Everlasting, filling the role of a snotty music reporter) gave me a copy of Tony Richardson's 1966 film Mademoiselle on DVD for my birthday. Birthday presents of movies or books or even albums that you have never heard of but that completely fit your sensibility are the best, and so Chris wins big time with Mademoiselle.
Jeanne Moreau plays the title character, a teacher exiled to a small village in France where she is completely alone and totally out of place. As one character suggests, in Paris she would be just another woman, but in their town, she is a goddess. What they don't know is that she is behind the recent spate of arson that has plagued the village, and as the film opens, she has escalated her crimes to include flooding the farm of a dwarf who lives nearby. The townspeople are more than happy to blame it on the Italian who is spending his days chopping down trees and pleasuring their wives, and as we discover, they aren't too far off the mark. The crime spree is a result of the pent-up desire the mademoiselle has for Manou, the hunky working man.
The script for Mademoiselle is by Jean Genet, and though I have never read his work (what am I? a goth?), this film seems right in line with what I know about him. Mademoiselle is about the politics of desire and what it will drive people to. Moreau's life in exile is an unnatural one, and as a result, she rails against her fellow citizens and against nature itself (right after she causes the floods, she smashes a nestful of tiny bird eggs in her bare hand, just because she can). The release of her sexual tension follows immediately after her worst attack on the village, and it has dire consequences for the source of her release. The games of humiliation she plays with Manou in the forest are primal, taking her to that natural state she has longed for, giving her the strength to stand back up and leave the town that oppresses her.
Current Soundtrack: Kings of Convenience, Riot on an Empty Street