Mister “A”


The new FORGOTTEN is up! Leave comments over there at THE AUTEURS’ NOTEBOOK. Slight delay this week due to my editor having been midatlantic (in an aeroplane, not drowning).

This is a film I’ll have even more to say about soon, in a little Shadowplay Interview. Remember how I was able to supply a copy of Jules Dassin’s 10.30PM SUMMER to its former child star, who had never seen it?

I’ve kind of done that again. I feel like a song ~

18 Responses to “Mister “A””

  1. david wingrove Says:

    Great piece on Sailor, a beautiful and criminally underrated movie!

    While it is widely alleged that Tony Richardson and Jeanne Moreau were lovers, Jeanne herself denies it to this day. In fact, she claims to have been mystified when Vanessa Redgrave filed for divorce and cited her as co-respondent.

    My own personal theory is that Jeanne was used as a smokescreen to hide the real reason for the divorce – i.e. Richardson’s homosexuality and his dalliances with young men. Homosexual acts were still illegal in the UK, and could not have been mentioned in court without sending the director to prison.

    There is one young and very handsome actor who appears in both MADEMOISELLE and SAILOR. I have often wondered if he, and not Jeanne Moreau, was the real ‘other woman’ in the case.

    Still, regardless of who was or was not sleeping with whom, THE SAILOR FROM GIBRALTAR was and is a fascinating movie.

  2. The film seemed to have a lot of resonances with homsexuality at the time, but I wasn’t confident enough of my ground to write this up. Richardson was certainly gay/bisexual, and the locations of Sailor must have been rich in temptations.

    But I suspect David E may have more information on this.

  3. Richardson was Bi, and was definitely a Very Close Friend of Jeanne Moreau. In fact when I interviewed Moreau a number of years back it was at Richardson’s house up on Kings Road here in L.A. Richardson wasn’t there but his boyfriend was. And the place was full of parrots. (Very Citizen Kane, that.)

    As I’m sure everyone knows Richardson died of AIDS.

    Further gayness — the script of The Sailor From Girbraltar is by Christopher Isherwood.

  4. Apropos parrots, one of my favourite books is Julian Barnes’ Flaubert’s Parrot.

  5. Never read any Barnes, alas. I’m just contemplating starting my second Pynchon.

    Richardson’s cause of death wasn’t mentioned at the time, as I recall. I first learned of it in David Watkin’s memoir, which has some great stuff about Charge of the Light Brigade, a deliriously fraught shoot.

  6. Arthur S. Says:

    Which was your first? I’ve read CRYING OF LOT 49 and the first 200pages of GRAVITY’S RAINBOW and his book of short stories.

    Nice piece by the way.

  7. My favourite Jeanne Moreau films include Truffaut’s Les Quatre cents coups, Fraker’s Monte Walsh, Frankenheimer’s The Train, Malle’s Ascenseur pour l’échafaud and Le feu follet,

  8. My first Pynchon was his last, Against the Day. Pretty incredible. With my usual drive and vivacity, I then failed to read any more.

    I suspect the Truffaut you meant to type is Jules et Jim. I was blown away by Bay of Angels last summer, so that’s gone into my top five Moreaus.

    I’m glad you mentioned The Train, a really superior WWII film.

  9. Yes those we the days when you had to read obituaries very carefully. To some degree those days are back as a number of people have expired from the same disease. Not as many as in the past, thank goodness, and not quite as frequently. But any time “heart failure” is lised as a cause fo death it’s plain they’re hiding something.

  10. In Victorian times they would put “exhaustion” in place of syphilis.

  11. Yes indeed, The Train is a brilliant WWII film. If I had to pick two Jeanne Moreau films it would be that and Monte Walsh.
    I recall some years ago reading a fascinating interview with Jeanne Moreau, where she made some very insightful comments about life and love. A very intelligent lady.

  12. Well you don’t get to be Jeanne Moreau for free, y’aknow.

    My Faves:Jules et Jim, Bay of the Angels, Les Liasons Dangereuses, Nathalie Granger, Chimes at Midnight, The Immortal Story, Time to Leave.

  13. Oh, I love her in Chimes, too.

    Shame she didn’t enjoy The Train, I think she thought Burt Lancaster talked too much, wanted to discuss everything to death.

    Which contradicts the screenwriter’s story: he saw Frankenheimer giving Burt a long psychological motivation, at the end of which, a silence, and then Burt said, “Ah, what the hell, I’ll just give it the grin.”

  14. I can’t imagine how I forgot Chimes at Midnight! Will Shakespeare, Jeanne Moreau and Orson Welles, what more could one ask for?

    Speaking of Shakespeare, I am coming to appreciate more and moe the Shakespearean qualities of Renoir’s films. Having recently watched Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe, I feel that there is a richness and depth combined with a freedom and grace and spontaneity that merits the comparison.

  15. A great “Renoirian” song from John Prine:

  16. Another great song from John Prine:

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