Friday, 9 May 2008

LA MARIEE ETAIT EN NOIR/The Bride Wore Black (1967)

As a woman leaves the church with her husband after their wedding a shot rings out and the husband falls dead, shot through the heart. One by one the bride tracks down the men responsible for her spouse's death. Yes, this is the film in which we find the seed of what would eventually become Quentin Tarantino's KILL BILL. Truffaut's film is one of at least three films he made from novels by one of his favourite writers, Cornell Woolrich(aka: William Irish). Of the French nouvelle vague directors, Truffaut was, perhaps the most conventional in terms of technique, sharing with Claude Chabrol an obsessive admiration for the works of Alfred Hitchcock. THE BRIDE WORE BLACK resembles Hitchcock but a Hitchcock stripped down to the bare essentials. Visually it is cool 1960's with vibrant colours and all the trappings of the pop culture of the period in terms of clothes,art, hairstyles etc. Jeanne Moreau glides through the film in a series of striking outfits as she pursues her prey, dispatching each of them in offbeat ways (not quite Dr.Phibes but getting there...) and with each killing we see a little more of the events that prompted her vendetta. Moreau was one of the great French stars of the period and although not as conventionally attractive as, say, Bardot, she could more than hold her own as one of the screen's most fascinating women and as a major acting talent. Truffaut knows exactly how to exploit her special qualities as his murderous "bride." The evocation of Hitchcock is further enhanced by an excellent Bernard Herrmann score. Rating ****

1 comment:

Cerpts said...

Hmmm, i quite liked the KILL BILL movies so this one also quite interests me. It's funny that no matter how many films you see, there will ALWAYS be great movies still left to watch!