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Mademoiselle

After Tom Jones, director Tony Richardson launched into a series of extremely ambitious films (including The Loved Oneand The Sailor from Gibraltar) which were lambasted by critics at the time. Recently restored, Mademoiselleis now being reassessed and may soon emerge as something of a cult item. Based on a script by Jean Genet, it stars Moreau as Mademoiselle, an ostensibly prim but in fact dangerously repressed schoolteacher in a small French village. Mademoiselle has managed to hide her anti-social tendencies from the villagers, but the arrival of a handsome Italian woodcutter (Ettore Manni) causes her psychosis to bubble over. When the village suffers from a serious of outragesoanimal poisonings, fires, floodsothe locals begin to suspect the newly arrived Italian as the culprit. The film climaxes with Mademoiselle’s seduction of the woodcutter, whom she claims has raped her. Richardson’s free-wheeling style and Moreau’s extravagant performance are entirely in tune with the script’s most outlandish
conceits.
U.K-France, 1966. Black and White. Anamorphic. 103 mins.

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