Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Catherine Deneuve (People, 1974)

Good morning!

Though I'm usually more interested in things a little earlier in the twentieth century, I picked up this copy of People magazine from 1974 the other day at Great Escape (I think it was 49 cents?) just to have a peek into the gossip periodical in its infancy. You know, the first issue came out in March of that year, so to find this one from September is pre-tty neat! There's a picture of Laurence Olivier at the beach in the human interest section (yessss...) and an article about whether or not Michael Douglas and girlfriend Brenda Vaccaro should continue living together or make it legal (spoiler alert, they didn't do either because they broke up the next can read the text of the article here in the People archives, but, sadly, without photos). But what I was r-e-a-l-l-y interested was this cover story on French film star Catherine Deneuve, in all her beige-made-up glory.

When I was a young pup in high school, I picked up a copy of Jules et Jim at the downtown public library (the very one in which I sit! It had just opened...meaning that was ten years ago. TEN YEARS AGO) and got pretty hardcore into the movie's director François Truffaut. The very next movie I picked up, par hasard, was La sirène du Mississippi (Mississippi Mermaid), and boy, did I love that movie. Based on a book by crime writer Cornell Woolrich, and in spite of being dedicated to director Jean Renoir, I think it's the closest Truffaut gets to emulating one of this idols, Alfred Hitchcock. I had hooked up the cassette deck in the living room to the tuner to the DVD player so that I could record, on audio cassette, the dialogue of several movies I loved at the time, but this was the first one I had in French. Listening to my favorite movie over and over again, my French pronunciation WAAAAY improved and I started to understand a lot of the dialogue, sans subtitles. I also went back to the library when it was time to turn in the movie and ordered all the movies of stars Catherine Deneuve and Jean-Paul Belmondo that were in the catalog. On VHS. Because I obviously rode a dinosaur to get there.

Neat things about Catherine Deneuve? Many. Such as:
  1. Musicals: She's GORGEOUS in The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and its follow up The Young Girls of Rochefort (both performances I think were dubbed by this French singer). While Umbrellas has better songs, Rochefort has Gene Kelly AND Deneuve's equally beautiful sister, Françoise Dorléac (who starred in Truffaut's The Soft Skin and tragically died in a car accident in the late sixties'). Plus I like it better for some reason. There you go.
  2. Work with auteurs: Deneuve did the perfectly surreal/terrifying/memorable Repulsion with Roman Polanski at the helm in 1965, Belle du Jour and Tristiana with Luis Buñuel in 1967 and 1970 (respectively), and worked with Truffaut twice, on my beloved Mississippi Mermaid as well as again in 1980 for The Last Metro. Are you kidding me? One should be so lucky as to work with ONE of those amazing directors ONCE.
  3. Boyfriends/Husbands/etc: Had a child by Roger Vadim (who also somehow ended up with Brigitte Bardot AND young Jane Fonda...he must have some kind of snake-like charm, because he's totally not even that handsome!) at 19, was briefly married to mod photographer David Bailey (who was famously involved with Jean Shrimpton), and had relationships with both Truffaut and Clint Eastwood in the sixties'. I MEAN, COME ON. Her scrapbook must read like the pages of Vogue. Could you even HAVE more glamorous beaux and exes than that?
Enough with the buildup...checkout these photos from the article:

I love these outfits. I know they're on set and they're acting in the roles of two French prostitutes, but if that's what a French prostitute looks like circa 1974, all perfect Breck hair, cute dresses, and platforms, then sign me UP.

Looking cool, naturally. At left, CD reminds me of how I can't shoot pool to save my life. Not even under the direct supervision and tutelage of Minnesota Fats could you make even a passable pool player out of me. So sad.  In the picture on the right, you can kind of see the sixties' makeup technique of filling in the fold of your eyelids with a darker color to make the eyes really, really stand out...I've never quite gotten the hang of that. I always get this weird, failed-drag queen kind of thing going on. CD, teach me what you know!

Above, looking sultry with, like I told you, the totally average looking Roger Vadim. I would like my hair to do what her hair is doing; also, to be on a patio overlooking a bay somewhere in Italia. Nice work.

Here's David Bailey and a turtle-necked, ski-chic Deneuve at left, and the patchwork magnificence of Marcello Mastroianni at right. Deneuve is in costume for a movie in this picture and holding her daughter Chiara's hand. Doesn't she look lovely in period costumes!

Last but not least, a photo of her son with Vadim, Christian, and she and Mastroianni. None of these pictures convey how shockingly attractive the two of them would have been in the mid seventies' (look how handsome he is!). I had a major crush on MM after seeing three of his movies, Fellini's 8 1/2 and La Dolce Vita, but also La Notte, with Jeanne Moreau (another French favorite of mine for another time).

Do you have any sixties' Europeans stars or starlets that are a hidden favorite of yours? Do you watch foreign movies very often or do you avoid them for the two hours of subtitles reading? Dites-moi!

PS: I almost forgot how cool the girl looked in tuxedo. Ah! To look like this! I feel a stylespiration coming on!

You can see more of CD's Chanel No 5 commercials here and here. They're kind of cute, but also kind of hilarious. You can see how she left herself wide open for parody there.

Have a great Wednesday, and I'll see you tomorrow!


  1. I cannot tell you how much I adore Catherine Deneuve! She's so beautiful, self possessed, charismatic, and all in addition to being a fantastic actress. This was a fantastic post, baby. :)

  2. I remember buying the first issue of People, Mia Farrow was on the cover - wish I had kept it!!

  3. I love love love Catherine Deneuve. I imagine she's totally what I would look like if I were terribly terribly chic and sophisticated. As for shading the lid on the orbital bone, you need a brush like this. And lots of blending. Seems to work! I'm thinking my new fashion muse should be "French prostitute circa 1974." Have you seen Vivre sa vie? Anna Karina is a prostitute in that and she looks fantastic. Leave it to French movies to glorify streetwalking! The hookers in Wichita don't look that classy. Heck, most of the women in Wichita don't dress that well! (Myself often included.)



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