Saturday, June 1, 2013

Ode to Brigitte Bardot

So tonight I'm keeping it mellow and settled in for a Criterion film, and one which I have shamefully never seen in my life was And God Created Woman (1956) directed by Roger Vadim and his then 21 year old wife Brigitte Bardot who he basically made into the most desired woman on the face of the earth, even for those who didn't speak French. 
Brigitte's introduction to the world. Much like what would later be done in Kubrick's Lolita (1962), a childlike seductress sits outside sunning herself in next to nothing waiting for a man to fall in love with her at first sight.
Not a natural blonde, but then again nobody was, this was the era of being blonde meaning being the end all be all in sex symbols, now a days, it's being a red-head, but whatever. I would blog about Marilyn the ultimate blonde, since it is her birthday, but I've blogged about her mmmmm a million times, so I just want to give a shout out to the most statuesque French-looking french actress who later turned into a psychopath but we can negate that. On the screen she is absolutely magical. If aliens landed tomorrow and asked what the female species was, you'd have to show them a picture of early 60's or late 50's Brigitte Bardot, the only sex symbol that we think of outside the American idiom. 
French poster for the film.
The film is about a waif in a small town near the French Riviera that all men are obsessed with but none can actually have, even when they exchange marriage vows. Her devil-may-care attitude spawned the sex-kitten phenomenon of the 60's and everyone from Vadim to The Beatles were completely obsessed. The story goes that John Lennon himself was so enamored with her that he made his then wife Cynthia dye her hair blonde and do her make-up a certain way to resemble the great Brigitte. Pretty chauvinist no?
But back to the wonder that is her, it's hard not to go crazy when you marry a heel like Roger Vadim at 18 and then he runs off with Jane Fonda, and for the rest of your life, all men want from you is sex rather than conversation, so you join PETA, and blame everyone in the world except yourself for all of your crazy insecurities. 
Another picture of Bardot, just because. She's fun to look at isn't she?
The only person I can think of that in any way reminds me of Brigitte is Claudia Schiffer, she is basically her reincarnation, in body, but not spirit, and perhaps that's a good thing. We don't have to listen to her speak and meander about her politics and bizarre musings on the ways of the world, just turn on one of her films and you'll be completely mesmerized, I don't care if you're a man or a woman, you want it. She is the ultimate vamp of that era, but in a childish Lolita-esque way which makes it even more enticing, and what she created in the film that made her; And God Created Woman will always be copied by ingenues to come. She is a mystery wrapped in exoticism, wrapped in raw sexual prowess, wrapped in heaps of black eye liner. It's fantastic.

No comments: