Buñuel blonde
in From perversion to purity
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Robert and Raymond Hakim gave Diego Buñuel the opportunity of working with Catherine Deneuve on Joseph Kessel's scandalous 1929 novel Belle de jour, a book that caused as much uproar on publication as the first screening of Un chien andalou. The Hakim brothers offered him the luxury of a ten-week working schedule on what was to become only by then his third film in colour. The darker shades of the Deneuve persona are in even greater evidence in Tristana. The juxtaposition of the images of femme fatale and virgin mother recreates the ambivalent treatment of women in western culture. Catherine Deneuve, both as Tristana and as ' Belle de jour', allowed Buñuel to indulge an incurable fascination with the ice-maiden prototype, that incarnation of a fantasy of Olympian pallid aloofness so fitting for demystifying the equivocal sensibilities of the threatened male.

From perversion to purity

The stardom of Catherine Deneuve

Editors: Lisa Downing and Sue Harris


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