Friday, March 28, 2014


Gerard Depardieu and Patrick Dewaere made a French road movie in 1974 with director Bertrand Blier. It was called Les Valseuses. "Uneven" is one of the kinder words I have seen in print to describe the deliberately disorganized narrative, with its occasional amazing outbursts of misogyny scattered among scenes of seemingly genuine hippie idealism. Production values high as well, even lofty  with music by Stephane Grappelli, cinematography by Bruno Nyutten.

Isabell Huppert (below) appeared in this movie at the age of 21. She played a 16-year-old schoolgirl vacationing unhappily in the Midi with her parents. She abandoned them in order to join up briefly with the roving petty criminals, but remained an outlaw only long enough to accomplish the joyful task of losing her virginity.

However, the true female lead was the actress Miou-Miou, partner in crime and partner in bed  an embodiment of the old-fashioned fantasy-girl conjured up by male imagination.

Jeanne Moreau (below) also anchored an isolated, disconnected episode  with the distant manner of a character on the wrong set.

Both Depardieu and Dewaere became stars with this movie (though Patrick Dewaere would commit suicide a few years later). Moreau and Miou-Miou were, in their own ways, each already consigned to the permanent status of legend. And Isabelle Huppert was beginning her steep and rapid ascent to the success-peak she continues to inhabit now, 40 years later.