Close Up

19 - 30 August 2015: Mademoiselle


Tony Richardson
1966 | 99 min | B/W | 35mm

"Tony Richardson’s deliciously wicked film – with a script begun by Jean Genet but completed by the director when the playwright disappeared after only a week – stars Jeanne Moreau as the ostensibly prim schoolmistress of a small French village. Beneath Mademoiselle’s breast, however, bubbles a hotbed of repressed passion, which she releases in random acts of secret and rather symbolic violence around the village: opening the floodgates to drown the farm animals, setting barns and homes aflame. The villagers pin the crimes on a sexy, newly arrived Italian lumberjack; Mademoiselle pins her hopes on seducing him. Richardson’s sumptuous mise-en-scène, marked here by his exclusive use of stationary camera compositions, creates narrative tableaux of classic proportions and an ample canvas for Moreau to paint her luscious performance on." – Harvard Film Archive

Part of our British New Wave season