Saturday, October 23, 2010

Catherine Deneuve and The Terrified Naked Model

Yesterday was the 67th birthday of the one and only Catherine Deneuve. As some of you know, she's one of my top ten actresses of all time. I didn't celebrate because I was too busy tinkering with blog coding. (Lots of good changes coming. Cross your fingers)

<-- Deneuve with foxy François on the Potiche promotional trail.

Here in the USA when people talk about 60something actresses, it's almost always the big M's: Mirren, Meryl. I'd argue that neither of those admittedly great talents, is still as adventurous in their movie choices as the big D "Deneuve". Deneuve is still consistently serving it up for auteurs in her late 60s. She was wondrous as the unsentimental cancer-striken matriarch in Arnaud Desplechin's A Christmas Tale a couple of years ago and in her current film, Potiche, now playing in France, she's bringing her style and comic sophistication to the latest from François Ozon. It's the second joint effort for the legendary star and the prolific gay director after the musical 8 Women (2002).

She just did an interview for the French gay magazine TÊTU. There's more on that after the jump. But be warned that it's NSFW unless your coworkers go around mooning each other. (And if so, no judgements!)

Deneuve wasn't always this keen on the gay mags. The best selling lesbian magazine Curve was launched as "Deneuve" in the early 90s but she wasn't happy about it and they had to change their name. But I suppose whatever your comfort level with anything, your name is your name is your name. Maybe if there was going to be a Deneuve magazine, she wanted it be more like Oprah's "O" (short for Onanistic). In the bottom right hand corner of the Têtu cover -- you'll have to take your eyes off Deneuve and the memorable acc assessory -- you'll see that the magazine also promises a piece on why the films of Jacques Demy resonate with the gays.

Sadly, an American gay magazine cover would never promise such a treat. American gays used to be culturally sophisticated but now we're just like everyone else and only watch reality tv.

The interview with Deneuve isn't online but if you can read French, the magazine did post an amusing interview with the cover boy Johan Akan on what's it's like to be buck naked in front of a total legend.

What's that, reader? Oh shut up you do not know; dreams don't count!

(I can't really read French either but I suspect that Deneuve had to have been even more intimidating for Johan than that robot chick who shaved him.)


vg21 said...

Joyeux Anniversaire, Catherine Deneuve! Thanks for the post, Nathaniel. I only speak little French at the moment but miss Deneuve is a major motivation to keep learning it :).

As far as I can remember, she had no problem with homosexuality at the time of Hunger either, which was quite a few years ago. I have always known her a very open-minded artist who also has a lot of gay friends.

I can't wait to see Potiche. Since it has been successful so far, my hopes to see it in Hungary may be justified, even if only a shamefully small segment of her latest films were shown in cinemas here.

ferdi said...

I saw Potiche in Venice and it was great, with Catherine at her best, absolutely brilliant. Why she (or Portman) didn't win the Coppa Volpi as best actress remains a mistery.

Nat, refresh my memory... can you write down your list of best actress of all time? I know that there are Pfeiffer, Moore and Streep among the others, but I don't remember the order. I want to know how close we are in actressexual tastes.


These are the 8 that are always seem to be there when i make the list (alpha order)


and then the other two spots are a continually rotating madhouse depending on year and mood involving the following 20ish ladies:

monroe, crawford, KIDMAN, fonda, BENING, stanwyck, colbert, garson, hunter, dehavilland, farrow, maclaine, christie, shearer, WINSLET, turner, hepburn, andrews, bergman, leigh and KEATON

i capitalized the ones that still give us new movie performances to consider because with current people the feelings get crazier and more fluid.

here is the top 100 (though the order displayed is totally whack and i'd probably swap several people out now that i've had more time to think about it.

brandz said...

let's not forget Dame Judi Dench. she's usually brilliant in whatever she does.

Rose said...

I'm so glad you made a post for Deneuve's birthday! Maybe I'm slightly biased, but I feel like she must have the best director track record of anybody. Also, have you heard the rumors that she's set to star in Christophe Honore's latest movie with Chiara Mastroianni? So exciting. And I can't wait for Potiche to *hopefully* hit the States, but I won't hold my breath.

I always get so excited when there are new Deneuve articles or interviews, followed by extreme frustration that I never learned a bit of French : / But it's definitely at the top of my ever-expanding "to-do" list.

James T said...

How awesome was that?!!

I am going to imagine EVERY actress I love AND every COMBINATION of two or more of them in EVERY possible way they could be photographed in a similar concept.

That will take me some years so I hope editors will spare me and actually make it happen!


Huppert giving her "look" to a poor hottie.

A poor hottie is tied to a chair and Winslet is toying with him according to Streep's orders.

A hootie is lying on a bed. Swinton opens his legs and Kidman pulls his hair.

Pfeiffer scratches her nails down a hottie's chest.

Sarandon grabs a hottie's ass.

I've gone wild, haven't I? ;)


James -- you go as wild as ya wanna. I think Pfeiffer did kind of have this moment already but it was in Chéri ;) and Sarandon had this moment with Jude Law in ALFIE although i don't think we got an actual sex scene (no fair!)

Rose -- that Honore pairing of mother/daughter will be AWESOME. Chiara was so good in his LOVE SONGS. have you seen that?

Deus Ex Machina said...

It's insane! All us gays care about now is some Real Housewives show and to hear the same Lady Gaga song over and over and over and over! I tried to expose a gay friend to Black Narcissus or Kate Bush and they called it bizarre, depressing, boring.

/3rtfu11 said...

OT: But speaking of French cinema and women. Nate I wanted to know your thoughts on Jodie Foster’s performance in A Very Long Engagement. Her best work in my eyes. The funny thing she speaks fluent French yet she still sounds like Jodie Foster.

jimmy said...

glad your reminded us of your favorites. happy that natalie wood is on that list.....would like to see you write about her career at some point - it really fizzled out quickly & there was a point in whcih i felt she suddenly lost her looks. i wonder what would have happened if she lived....i would assume she would have attempted some sort of sitcom....ala "Natalie" - single mom starting over with kookie neighbor. too bad she turned down binnie & clyde....i ramble.

ferdi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ferdi said...

Great list. Mine is:
Michelle Pfeiffer
Julianne Moore
Meryl Streep
Susan Sarandon
Glenn Close
Bette Davis
Katharine Hepburn
Rita Hayworth
Gene Tierney
Louise Brooks

And I feel an intermittent but often ferocious love (it depends on my mood and on the movie season) for Nicole Kidman, Kate Winslet, Annette Bening, Tilda Swinton and Isabelle Huppert.

When I was young I used to love so deeply Jodie Foster, Julia Roberts and Winona Ryder.

I worship like no one in the planet Anjelica Huston for her devastating turn in The Grifters, Deborah Kerr for The Innocents and Joan Fontaine for Letter From An Unknown Woman.

And about the next best things.. I think that only the Brokeback Mountain girls Michelle Williams (always wondruos) and Anne Hathaway (sublime in Rachel) could manage one day to enter in my pantheon.

Craig said...

Here is a rough translation of the article (excuse my rusty French):

What was your reaction when you found out that you were going to pose with Catherine Deneuve? Johan: When the modeling agency called me to ask me if I would pose nude for TETU and do a shooting with Catherine Deneuve, I immediately focused on the name Catherine Deneuve. I said "yes" without hesitating. Afterwards, I started to realize the naked guy would be . . . me.
Did you agnonize about the idea of posing next to such a big star?
I did, I was a little stressed… Before the shooting, I wondered how I was going to say hello to her, I was afraid of being intimidated by the (artistic)vision. I also said: "Will I please her?" Finally, my encounter with Catherine happened while coming out of the toilets where the make-up artist had told me to put cream on my posterier! Catherine Deneuve waited on the platform. As I had imagined it in fact. That is to say very classy, with a lady-like demeanor. A strong and beautiful woman. It is there that I heard someone say: "And it would do well to make the introduction!" I squeezed her hand, no doubt like a silly mouse, a napkin covering my penis. Then I simply said to her: "Delighted".
How did the shooting go? Johan: Like a good film, with a little suspense, some questions, beautiful memories, and a happy end! First of all, when I arrived, I still didn't know if I was going to be nude or not. Finally, the decision had to be made. There were a lot of things to manage at once. . . nude . . . with Catherine Deneuve . . . for TETU . . . and on the cover, soon in all of the kiosks. But finally, I stopped thinking about it to concentrate on the reason why I was there.
What did you like about Catherine Deneuve? Johan: I find her beautiful, talented, and classy. I adored her in Indochine, one of my favorite films. Of course, my encounter with her will remain one of my best memories. My only disappointment is not to have found the moment, or courage, to say to her at some point that I was happy to meet her. I was afraid of falling into banalities, like, "I LOVE what you've done".
Do you do a lot of sport? Johan: Yes, I do some sport three or four times a week. I go in a room and do a litte yoga and boxing. It is better to work the body toward another goal than to try to be beautiful in front of the mirror or to strut at the beach, no? Ultimately, it is more important to please oneself. I remain nonetheless rather self-conscious. Then there's the cliché, the self-conscious model, like the actress who says: "You know in the morning, I am ugly and I have cellulite". But for me, I spend three-quarters of my life ungrateful about my physique. That is to say, until the last moment I believed that I would not correspond to the TETU cover-boy image. I was delighted to participate in this cover. The result is there. I don't think: "Great! My buttocks looked good" but rather "Great! The photos are beautiful. Just like this experience.


awww, Craig. thanks for translating!