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That time Jeanne Moreau posed for Playboy
08.01.2017
09:12 am
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Jeanne Moreau, indisputably one of the greatest cinematic icons that France ever produced, passed away yesterday at the age of 89. Moreau was almost certainly the defining female actress of la nouvelle vague, most obviously for her portrayal of the impulsive and elusive Catherine in François Truffaut’s masterpiece Jules et Jim, who forges a close friendship with and, inevitably, a romantic rivalry between the eponymous pair of men, portrayed by Oskar Werner and Henri Serre, respectively.

There can be no doubt that Moreau belongs on the short list of actors who left a profound mark on the international cinema of the 1950s and 1960s, right alongside Mifune, Von Sydow, and Mastroianni. In 1958 Moreau appeared in two masterpieces by Louis Malle, namely Les amants and Ascenseur pour l’échafaud. During her most visible years she also appeared in Jacques Becker’s Touchez pas au grisbi, Roger Vadim’s Les liaisons dangereuses, Michelangelo Antonioni’s La Notte, Luis Buñuel’s Diary of a Chambermaid, Orson Welles’ The Trial, and many others. She appeared often in movies into her later years, winning a César in 1992 for The Old Lady Who Walked in the Sea at the age of 63 and even popping up in the much-disputed romcom “classic” Love Actually more than 20 years after that.

Moreau’s world-weary visage and adeptness with a cigarette easily clinched her identity as the “intellectual’s sex symbol,” as she was called incessantly, of the day. However, it was not as if Moreau lounged with a Gitane in a cafe in all of her movies, some of which had significant risqué content, including Jean Dréville’s La reine Margot, Jean-Louis Richard’s Mata Hari, Agent H21, and Philippe de Broca’s Chère Louise.
 

 
It says something about the particular cultural currency Playboy attained in the 1960s that Moreau, three years after Jules et Jim, agreed to appear in a spread in the pages of the magazine. The pictures appeared in the September 1965 issue, when she was 37 years old.

In typical Playboy fashion, the accompanying text dances around the topic of Moreau’s, er, unlikely status as a sex symbol, stating that she “possesses few of the physical assets commonly considered prerequisites for projecting sex appeal,” even quoting a sly remark of hers to the same effect (“Beautiful? Of course not. That’s the whole point about me, isn’t it?”).

The subhead refers to Moreau as “the brooding, beguiling high priestess of French cinemactresses” LOL.
 
See the pics after the jump…..
 

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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08.01.2017
09:12 am
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Watch Miles Davis improvise the soundtrack to Louis Malle’s ‘Elevator To The Gallows’
08.13.2014
07:50 am
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This is like watching Picasso paint: Behold as Miles Davis watches Louis Malle’s French film noir, Ascenseur pour l’échafaud (“Elevator to the Gallows”) and improvises his moody soundtrack score.

Ascenseur pour l’échafaud was the celebrated director Louis Malle’s feature film debut and starred Jeanne Moreau and Maurice Ronet as lovers planning a murder. The two day recording session was held at Le Poste Parisien Studio in Paris on December 4th and 5th, 1957 and featured French session musicians René Urtreger, Pierre Michelot and Barney Wilen along with American drummer Kenny Clarke. After getting some basic cues and the key from Davis, the soundtrack was totally improvised while the musicians watched the movie on a screen.  The soundtrack seems to be a well-kept secret in the Miles Davis discography which is odd considering that the modal experimentations laid down for Malle’s film clearly led to what came soon afterwards in a similar vein, Milestones and his all time classic Kind of Blue album.
 

Miles Davis and Jeanne Moreau, Paris, 1957
 
It could be argued that Malle’s cinematic style and the unique pacing and character of this particular film—which Miles obviously had to conform to in order score it properly—had a noticeable influence on his music. Jazz critic Phil Johnson described the Ascenseur pour l’échafaud soundtrack as having “the loneliest trumpet sound you will ever hear.”
 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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08.13.2014
07:50 am
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Beautiful women of the 60s

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Posted by Tara McGinley
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10.19.2010
10:45 pm
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