Friday, March 18, 2011

La dame vêtue de noir

One of the films that I've had the pleasure of seeing this week on the big screen at BFI Southbank is Robert Bresson's Les dames du Bois de Boulogne (1945). Seeing a classic film in cinema, as it was originally intended to be seen, is always very special to me... Especially to see something filmed in such a lush way as Bresson's picture is, quite frankly, awe-inspiring. I truly consider BFI one of the (many!) big perks of life in London; in my home country it really is a rarity to view an old film in cinema.

I love classic femme fatales and I simply adored the stunning María Casares' portrayal of Hélène in Les dames du Bois de Boulogne. This femme fatale, believing her lover's feeling for her have cooled, sets about tricking him in a scandalous affair with a cabaret dancer (who is, essentially, a prostitute).

I was especially taken by María Casares' costumes, which are breathtaking. The statuesque Spanish beauty wears sweeping black gowns throughout the movie and rocks some very fabulous hats, capes and pearls, which give the character a distinct, iconic look. Sadly I don't own the movie on DVD so I couldn't snap screencaps but I thought I'd post a couple of pictures. Hopefully these will encourage you to pick up the movie if you haven't seen it before. It is well worth a watch!