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good campy fun & a 70's slant on the old don juan chestnut
Ouch! Ultra camp ...
"the more i know men, the higher the price of mine".
Brigitte Bardot as her best, otherwise an average story.
This movie makes clear that by 1973, both Vadim and Bardot were getting past their prime. Bardot aged 39 is still a beautiful woman, but has lost her disarming girlish qualities of the previous decades. And Vadim seems to be making a serious effort to be modern, in a way that doesnât really work. The film focuses on the confessions of a sinful woman, who claims having committed a murder (but not really). By making this confession to a priest (who also happens to be her cousin) whom she later sleeps with, Vadim turns the whole thing into a blasphemous travesty of a religious ceremony. âDon Juanâ contains many such caricatural references to Roman Catholicism (the opening scene with the transvestites in the church, the purgatory in the final scene, the choir music, etc.). One wonders what Vadim is trying to say here. Is he trying to be trendy by using all sorts of contemporary references to the loss of traditional (religious) values, free love, sex orgies, psychedelic/bizarre shots (distorted mirror images, people walking past animal carcasses, etc.) and emancipated women who like to sleep around the way men have always done traditionally? Or does he condemn all this (given the movieâs ending)? And why does Jeanne (Bardot) act the way she does anyway? The only logical explanation seems to be she despises men in general, but to her friend LÃ©porella (MichÃ¨le Sand) she denies this. And if such is the case, her choice of victims isnât entirely logical either. One can understand she would want to ruin a disagreeable creature like Louis PrÃ©vost (Robert Hossein), but she does little more than mildly humiliate him. Her behaviour towards a decent man like Pierre Conzague (Maurice Ronet), whose life she ruins completely, is far more reprehensible. The episode(s) with Ronet are by far the most crucial part(s) of Jeanneâs confession and thus of this movie. Unfortunately, the pace in this part is too slow to retain the viewerâs attention. The episode with Hossein and Birkin is more pacy and titillating, but exactly because of that, it sort of fits in awkwardly with the rest of the movie. The short bit with the suicidal musician is kind of stupid and not at all impressive. Apart from the revolutionary lesbian love scenes between Bardot and Birkin and that one second with Hossein without his dressing gown on, we have little to thank Vadim for.
I know it's not cool to speak ill of the dead, but Vadim was a terrible director. Of the Vadim movies I've seen, only The Night Heaven Fell was remotely worth watching, and then only as a stock melodrama.
Don Juan, on the other hand, is yet another example of Vadim's prediliction for directing his wife while she wears little or no clothing. With little or no script. What makes Don Juan different from the other Vadim/Bardot "films"? This time, she lives in a submarine. No, really.
Bardot seduces her cousin (a priest) by telling him about her erotic exploits, in which she humiliates men. Not in a kinky, female-empowerment role-reversal kind of way, but in a boring, time-wasting kind of way.
For some reason, HVE has seen fit to restore this film - it looks gorgeous. Unfortunately, a great transfer and a luscious leading lady do not a great film make.
The one thing I will say for this film is that it taught me to be very careful with fire around concrete. That stuff burns like crazy.
If you're looking for a good Bardot film, try Plucking the Daisy.
The incomparable Brigitte Bardot turns her charms all the way to the max in what would become her last starring motion picture performance. As Jeanne, Bardot is her suave, seductive, sexy self and creates a character as unforgettable as she is irresistible. Through a collection of stories as told to a young priest, Jeanne reveals the secrets of her destructive behaviours towards men (and women). The only problemss with this film are the abrupt ending and the title song, which is used incessantly throughout the whole picture, making the film feel as though it belongs in a grindhouse/cult classics $5 DVD collection rather than being a respectable motion picture.
I LOVE the story of Don Juan. Desire. Ruin. n freedom.
the concept was maybe interesting but the film is boring and pointless