Louis Malle

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A Very Private Affair Review


Weak
In A Very Private Affair, Brigitte Bardot gets to basically play herself, an overacting, overstacked blonde goddess who just can't take it any more when the pressures of celebrity get to her. Her performance is just short of a tragedy, and the plot is saccharine, asking us to feel sorry for the plight of her movie starlet when the paparazzi flock to her country place after word surfaces about her "very private" affair with an older man. When press light a bonfire in your yard to keep warm and helicopters hover right over your roof, sure, you should get upset. But in that case reality will have dissolved completely, so why worry?

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Spirits Of The Dead Review


Very Good
A rare '60s oddity, Spirits of the Dead takes a weird premise and makes it even weirder. How weird? Try classic Edgar Allen Poe stories given a 1960s spin -- one that lambasts the whole free love/no morals movement the way that only the Frenchies could do. And stars some of the biggest stars of the era -- Fonda! Bardot! Delon! -- and is told in three short pieces, courtesy of three big-time directors -- Fellini! Malle! Vadim!

Roger Vadim takes his Barbarella star Jane Fonda through a very loose interpretation of "Metzengerstein," with Fonda as an aristocrat bored of the constant orgies and swift executions of her enemies. She ends up falling for her cousin, but when he rejects her, she burns down his stable, taking him along with it. Strangely, the cousin ends up possessing the spirit of a horse, which the countess ends up fascinated with anew. It's the weakest of the three shorts, but it's worth seeing if for no other reason than to see Barbarella trot out her French. (To be honest, that might be the only reason -- the story just doesn't make much of an impact.)

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