Sunday, 7 February 2010

Beatrice & Beart to star in new film

Just heard that sultry gallic screen siren, Beatrice Dalle, will be starring in a film called Bye Bye Blondie, as the punky lover of equally pillow-lipped Emmanuelle Béart.   

This should be interesting.  The director, Virginie Despointes, strikes a controversial figure having directed the infamous gallic take on Thelma & Louise and Confessions of a trick baby, the incomparably gratuitous  “Baise Moi” – which was based on her 1993 debut novel.   Hailed as the pioneer of a new genre of feminist literature, rhe boldness of the novel's plot, its angry depiction of female sexual pleasure and gratuitous violence, and its explicit criticism of contemporary Western society have earned this ambiguous work a reputation for subversion.
The film version, along with "Irreversible" shattered the notion that Paris is a romantic destination and reinforced the idea that passing through underground tunnels at night will always be bad baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad idea.


On the surface and to the naked French eye, it may seem that Emmanuelle and Beatrice took two very different career paths, but they actually have more in common then you might think. 

For starters, they both held an entire generation of men transfixed by their sultry on-screen presence: while Béatrice Dalle steamed up spectacles across Europe in Betty Blue, the nymph-like Emmanuelle Béart was breaking hearts in Manon des Sources.


They also both appeared in a number of films which  drew on several French film staples — steamy sex, casual nudity, steamy sex, artistic angst —dressed up with lush photography, and lots of cigarettes, and as my dear mother used to say “someone playing the piano at some point."

They are also both anti-establishment and refuse to be typecast: 
Beatrice is practically the poster child for anarchy;
Emmanuelle is a vehement and vocal anti-right wing activist, once drawing intense criticism from the press and a famous couture house for appearing at a pro-immgration protest with unruly hair and no make-up, sending out a clear message of “let them eat freedom.”

Emmanuelle appeared in Mission Impossible, and Beatrice was meant to star in the Six Sense, but was denied access to the US because of a drug charge. And then I guess the similarities end here really: They both do good naked shots, they are both pillow-lipped and they both almost cracked America, but were not really bothered with making it big there anyway.

Were you ever to need reminding of the effect Emmanuelle Béart has on men, you'd do well to recall the time she appeared on the cover of French Elle magazine, in 2003. With the actress pictured naked on a Mauritian beach, Frenchmen flocked in their droves to their nearest news-stand. The entire print-run of 550,000 copies sold out in just three days, making it the biggest-selling issue in the fashion glossy's long history.

When I was about 16, my girlfriends and I went to Paris for the week, and during this time we bagged ourselves some tickets to watch Emmanuel  perform in the theatre, as the uncle of one of my mates was directing the play. She gave a great performance, although the only thing I really remember, and which shocked me at the time, was that she has breast implants and plumped up lips. This was like 1997 or something, and only porn stars were into this shit.

People in France have a very ambiguous relationship with this woman, they either love her or hate her – but prefer to love hating her. Apart from giving frank, confrontational interviews and starring in controversial horror films, she is also vocal about the fact that she could not give a fuck about the literary greats and so on. She never pretended to be  “well educated” and this in France is deemed a crime worse than desecrating a slab of camembert with fish knife. You can be as thick as pig shit, but at least pretend that you have read the classics.

Before Angelina came on the scene with her brother snogging antics, vials of blood and drug confessions, Beatrice was the queen of the bad girls. In fact I can remember Beatrice once being quotes as saying that she wanted to adopt children from all over the world.

Before Winona got frisky with Marc Jacobs, Beatrice was the most infamous shopstealing actress, having been caught slipping jewellery down her thigh length boots. And then there was the crazy marriages: an artist, a violent rapper, and now a convicted rapist. Not exactly Brad Pitt right.

I mean, she makes Megan Fox look like a Walt Disney character. This is a picture of her in Cannes in 1997, in which she tells the world to kiss her french arse.


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