Tuesday, October 6, 2009

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, MADEMOISELLE!

Take one very naughty schoolteacher, a hunky Italian woodsman, a generous handful of suspicious townsfolk plus a big pinch of mayhem and you'll have the deliciously wicked and dark "Mademoiselle"! Filmed in gorgeous black and white by Tony Richardson and based on a Jean Genet story, Jeanne Moreau plays the repressed schoolmarm in a French village where fires, floods and livestock poisonings are causing havoc and paranoia. Suspicion automatically falls on Manou (Ettore Manni), an Italian woodcutter, as handy with his "sword" as he is with his saw! However it's the frustrated teacher who is actually the culprit. Before each act, she applies make-up, does her hair and changes into stiletto heels and fishnet gloves as though she has a hot date. Well, she does-sort of! When Mademoiselle and Manou FINALLY ignite, ooh la la--il fait tres chaud! Of course, it won't end well, but it's a wantonly sexy and visually stunning ride.

(Note: there are a few scenes of animal cruelty that really bothered me in this film. I'd like to hope they were faked...but they were unsettling to me nevertheless.)
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