Tuesday, November 17, 2009
The Girl On A Motorcycle, Take 3
This is my third post on Marianne Faithfull's 1968 film, The Girl On A Motorcycle, believe it or not. And, like the movie, this post is waaay more visual than it is informational! Many of these shots are quite new, as in, they are courtesy of old magazines that I've recently purchased and scanned. And indeed a couple of them are never-before-seen, at least not by me. When I finally saw this movie earlier in the year, I wasn't disappointed, but my expectations weren't high to begin with. The storyline is terribly ridiculous (newly wed Rebecca - Marianne - is bored by her regular-Joe husband and upon receiving a motorcycle from her former lover - played by French heartthrob Alain Delon - has lurid fantasies about fucking him as she rides around town on the new bike). Most of the time, quite honestly, I didn't know what was going on. It's a very 60's film, dreamlike and often nonsensical, and I'm sure it was meant to have some sort of analytical value. There's very, very little dialog; most of the movie is Marianne riding around while we hear her thoughts spoken out loud. The movie is carried solely by Marianne's beauty and bod, by the appealing, slightly pornographic images of a blonde, ex-convent schoolgirl with big blue eyes and long, thick blonde hair dressed in skintight black leather. A complete fantasy. Unfortuntaely, there wasn't a whole lot of separation between the image of "Rebecca" and the image of real-life Marianne; by that point, her innocent public persona had been shattered by the Redlands drug bust and the precarious title of "Miss X", the "nymphomaniac" in the fur rug. So if you think about the movie from that light, it's actually rather sad, a demeaning sexploitation flick. But if considered in another light, the film is not quite so guilty. If nothing else, it is a rare treasure, a legendary artifact: ninety minutes of the most beautiful girl in the world, preserved forever. Director Jack Cardiff on Marianne: "Never since I first saw Marilyn Monroe through the camera lens have I seen such irresistible beauty. To focus on her is to focus the camera on your innermost heart." Alain Delon: "She is a happening all to herself. She is the type of girl men fought dragons for in mythology, the type that duels have been fought over." Couldn't have said it better myself, guys.
All photos = my scans