Catherine Deneuve has made five films with André Téchiné, more than with any
other director she has worked with in her long career: Hôtel des
Amériques, Le Lieu du crime/Scene of the Crime, Ma saison
préférée/My Favourite Season, Les Voleurs/Thieves and Les Temps qui
changent. In order to investigate the meanings of this connection, this
chapter examines the established literature in film studies on
Deneuve's star persona. The relationship between art and popular cinema
in Deneuve's output can also be expressed in terms of the distinction
between 'star' and acteur fétiche. Aspects of the
pre-existing Deneuve persona (autonomous, empowered) happily encounter
Téchiné's narratives of change, transformation, plurality, and
becoming. Finally, and to take a distance from questions of stardom and
acting technique, it is possible to see in the supremely cinematic Deneuve
face one of the best examples of what Deleuze and Guattari call
visagéité, or facialisation.
As moving pictures became a reality during 1895-6, Europe's crowned heads discovered the new medium and what it could do for their image. The earliest royal films made in Britain showed Victoria's extended family with a new informality, and were eagerly viewed by their subjects. However, it was the staging of Victoria's 1897 Diamond Jubilee as a vast procession through London, filmed by 18 companies whose products were distributed throughout Britain and the distant territories of the Empire, that showed how powerfully film could project the monarchy in a new way - immediate, accessible and impressive. Victoria's successors, her sons Edward and George, came to the throne having grasped the potential of film. Meanwhile, two of her relations Kaiser Wilhelm and Tsar Nicholas, were also the subjects of early filming Nicholas's coronation in 1896 was the first such event to be recorded on film, but a record of the disaster that followed, when thousands were killed in a crowd panic, was quickly suppressed. Nicholas would remain suspicious of film as a mass medium, while enjoying it as a private family record, until he gave permission for a film to celebrate the tercentenary of the Romanov dynasty in 1913 - the same year that a full-scale acted tribute to Victoria, Sixty Years a Queen, appeared.