Monday, November 13, 2006
Combien Tu M'aimes?
Well, to me it's not even "How Much Do You Love Me?" but "Wie Sehr Liebst Du Mich?" as I saw this French film in Germany.
I had never heard of this movie and had no expectations other than being entertained by a film à la Française. At the Cineplex, I briefly saw a poster with Monica Bellucci in profile looking pensive and alluring: she's turned her gaze to something outside of the poster, her hand to her slightly open mouth. The other French film that was playing was La Terre vue du ciel, it had an equally romantic poster showing a landscape from above in the shape of a heart.
I read a quick German synopsis of director Bertrand Blier's movie. Monica Bellucci stars as Daniela, a "Nutte", German for a prostitute. On the French movie website she's described as a Beauté professionelle. In the States- while the word "professional beauty" certainly would conjure up ladies with the voluptuous looks of Monica Belluci - wouldn't we be thinking more of beauty pageants and Miss America instead of nightclubs offering prostitutes in the window?
Bernard Campan stars as François, a Parisian office worker with a weak heart, an eye for a particular professional beauty and an offer she can't refuse: his lotto winnings until it runs out if she moves in with him. How can she say no, it's her J. O. B. ! Gérard Depardieu stars as Charly, her gangster-husband. I decided to see what Monica Bellucci, Bernard Campan and Gérard Depardieu were getting up to.
Coming out of the German-dubbed movie (sans sous-titres), my first word to describe the movie was German: "skurril". This word can be translated in English to mean comical, droll, odd, whimsical or bizarre. Yes- this movie is all that. That and all of Monica Bellucci. Many are probably familiar with Gérard Depardieu but it will be Monica Bellucci that many (certainly the men!) won't forget.
But for a climactic lesson that men shouldn't forget- it's Farida Rahouadj as François' next-door-neighbor that provides a riveting scene about "romantic arias" ending it with a simple question: "Does she roll her eyes?"
La Terre vue du ciel Earth from Above (movie title translation)
sans sous-titres without subtitles
La photo: Watching "Maya in Plane Movement" (video installation). New York City, mars 2001.