Jeanne Moreau, L'Immortelle

Mademoiselle

Tony Richardson

Purple, perverse, malicious, delicious, Mademoiselle has a script attributed to Jean Genet (though Marguerite Duras reportedly helped shape the final version) and a delectably depraved performance by Jeanne Moreau as the eponymous Miss, a supposedly prim schoolteacher in a rural French village who finds sexual pleasure in disciplining schoolboys, creating floods, and dabbling in arson. When an Italian itinerant (Ettore Manni) who has aroused rampant lust among the local women encounters the institutrice in a storm, they don't need a match to light the night on fire: one must turn to Patti Smith's famous paean to Mademoiselle (look it up!) to capture the full flavour of their boot-licking encounter in a field. "Memorably nuts" (Nathan Lee, The Village Voice); "features some of the most vividly detailed wide-screen cinematography ever [and] a performance from Moreau that can only be described as elemental" (Dan Callahan, The L Magazine).

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