Tuesday, February 1, 2011

La Ronde (1964)

This film gets a bad rap, and while it may be far from the best filmed version of Arthur Schnitzler's play - a brilliant work composed of a linked succession of sexual encounters - it is a beautiful-looking & sounding star-studded sixties European production that opens with a breathtaking title sequence. But the real fun here is to witness a director completely indulge in the joy of having several exceedingly beautiful actresses to work with.

Few directors were as fascinated by or as in love with women as Roger Vadim. For that reason, I'm grateful Catherine Spaak starred in one of his movies, even if her role in the "circle of seduction" persists a mere twenty minutes. She plays the most intelligent, observant, and witty female character of the bunch, demonstrating her prowess in an encounter with a married man, and later having those same qualities challenged by a master manipulator with the power to give aspiring actresses (or women he wishes to mold into actresses) their start.

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