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From perversion to purity

The stardom of Catherine Deneuve

Edited by: Lisa Downing and Sue Harris

Few screen icons have provoked as much commentary, speculation and adulation as the 'she' of this plaudit, Catherine Deneuve. This book begins with a brief overview of Deneuve's career, followed by a critical survey of the field of theoretical star studies, highlighting its potential and limitations for European, and particularly French, film scholarship. It argues the need for the single-star case study as a model for understanding the multiple signifying elements of transnational stardom. Her first role, at the age of 13, was a brief appearance as a schoolgirl in André Hunebelle's Collégiennes/The Twilight Girls. It was in 1965 that Roman Polanski would cast Catherine Deneuve in Repulsion, described by one critic as a 'one-woman show' in a role that would effectively create a persona which would resonate throughout her future film career. The darker shades of the Deneuve persona are in even greater evidence in Tristana. Demy's Donkey Skin is arguably an equal source of the tale's iconic status in France today, and largely because of Deneuve. The book also investigates films of the 1970s; their role in shaping her star persona and the ways in which they position Deneuve in relation to French political culture. The book considers exactly why directors gravitate towards Deneuve when trying to evoke or represent forms of female homosexual activity on film, and to consider exactly what such directors actually make Deneuve do and mean once they have her performing these particular forms of lesbian relation.

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Polanski’s Deneuve

‘Frigidity’ and feminism

Lisa Downing

’s difficult, even unhappy, experiences on Belle de jour register the ambiguity of Buñuel’s deeply troubled Séverine, who progresses from observer – the prostitute encouraged in her initiation by Mme Anaïs to watch through the peephole at the sexual antics of the customers – to participant in the liaisons dangereuses of the brothel. In the process, Catherine Deneuve becomes, as in Tristana, fascinating as much as for her own

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Peter William Evans

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.

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Belle toujours

Deneuve as fashion icon

Fiona Handyside

Robinson Crusoe 30 Simón del desierto 30 Tristana 3 , 36–43 , 58 , 76 , 83 , 166 , 170 Viridiana 33 , 37 Butler, Judith 82 , 86 , 158n.1 Caen

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Demy and Deneuve

The princess and the post-’68 fairy tale

Susan Weiner

Deneuve’s Italian work, as characterised precisely by continuity: she argues ( 1995 : 109) that it reiterates a quality of ‘“perverse” sexuality’ already evident in earlier roles that Deneuve enacted, as Carol in Repulsion (Roman Polanski, 1965), and as Séverine and Tristana in Buñuel’s Belle de jour (1966) and Tristana (1970) respectively. If one considers a summary of the narrative of La cagna , it seems that this is

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Pauline Small

decade in terms of film output. This oversight is consistent with the overall lack of criticism of the French stars of the 1970s. Most analyses of Deneuve’s work focus predominantly on the 1960s or the 1980s onwards, and almost all ignore her career beyond Tristana (Buñuel, 1970). This critical oversight ignores two issues. First, that Deneuve still experienced some commercial success during the 1970s (see for example Le

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Rob Stone

parodied by Luis Buñuel in Tristana (1970) in which a chubby, bumbling flatfoot of the Guardia Civil needs two shots to kill a rabid dog and explains away his ineptitude to onlookers (and the cinema audience) as his concern for shooting women or children. 18 Schrader, ‘Notes on Film Noir’, p. 81

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The killing of sister Catherine

Deneuve’s lesbian transformations

Andrew Asibong

unflattering drab brown wig. As early a film as Buñuel’s Tristana (1970) challenges her effortless glamour by making her a wheelchair-bound amputee. Even films which have allowed her a more glamorous role, such as Le Dernier Métro/The Last Metro (Truffaut, 1980) Est–Ouest/East–West (Wargnier, 1999), Je rentre à la maison/I’m Going Home (Oliveira, 2000), 8 femmes/8 Women (Ozon, 2002) or Rois et reine

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Ghosts of the past

El espinazo del Diablo/The Devil’s Backbone

David Archibald

Republican government during the conflict and significant numbers of civil war exiles found refuge in Mexico. Lázaro-Reboll suggests that ‘Del Toro’s filmic production is clearly an example of the dynamic process of cross-cultural horror exchange, since it borrows from Hollywood and non-Hollywood film-making practices, partaking of diverse international horror traditions, or what could be labelled as transnational horror.’ (2007: 46) The film certainly contains numerous cinematic references: Carmen’s one-legged lady references Tristana (Buñuel, France/Italy/Spain, 1970

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Series:

Deborah Shaw

sources’, the film has intertextual references to Luis Buñuel’s Los olvidados (The Young and the Damned, 1950) and Tristana (1970), and Arturo Ripstein’s films, in the use of morally ambiguous characters, the focus on a violent city, and the critique of superficial elements of modernity Three Amigos.indb 109 1/4/2013 1:01:59 PM 110 Alejandro González Iñárritu (D’Lugo, 2003b: 227–228).20 Paul Julian Smith has pointed out the film’s debt to traditions of Mexican cinema and, citing Charles Ramírez Berg’s notions of mexicanidad in national cinema, explores the film