Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Moreau moment

The other day, when I envisioned a Chanel biopic made in the 1950s or '60s with Jeanne Moreau in the lead, I was mainly thinking of how Moreau and Chanel share a certain uncompromising, implacable quality (which is not a quality one associates with Audrey Tautou)...

Little did I know that Chanel was one of Moreau's favorite designers, that there are photos of them together in Chanel's famous apartment...

...and that even today, Moreau maintains her association with the couture house, narrating an audio guide for a Chanel exhibition and appearing in a video on the Chanel website where she gives a tour of this apartment (go here and click on #2).

I am actually in a Jeanne Moreau phase at the moment--it started when I watched Viva Maria on Comcast last week. No offense meant to Brigitte Bardot, Moreau's Viva Maria costar, who is of course beautiful and delightful. But in general, I am never as fascinated by bubbly and exuberant Bardot types as I am by women like Moreau--whose eyes held an infinite sadness and wisdom and seen-it-all quality even when she was only in her thirties.

When I grow up I want to be an intense French woman. Chic and opinionated, passionate but unsentimental. Like Moreau. Like Chanel. Like Natalie Dessay. Like my host mothers in Paris and Bordeaux. Not altogether like Edith Piaf, whose life was too painful for anyone to covet; but like her, like all these women, in taking Je ne regrette rien as a motto!

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