Paleo Retiree writes:
Pretty awesome Riviera-and-Paris-set adaptation of the once-notorious Françoise Sagan novel that’s a cross between something sophisticated (ie., “European”) and something mainstream for the broad American audience — half silly, but half genuinely daring. David Niven and Jean Seberg are a wealthy, amoral, blasé-and-carefree father and daughter; Mylène Demongeot is roué Niven’s current youthful plaything; Deborah Kerr is the earnest, older wet blanket Niven starts developing real feelings for. How will his spoiled, fun-loving-but-also-possessive sprite of a daughter react?
The film — directed in 1958 by Otto Preminger, from a script by Arthur Laurents — is clearly influenced by the Euro art movies of the post-WWII years. For an American film of its era, it’s stylistically playful, even edgy; unusually frank about sex, pleasure and money; and surprisingly willing to aim at unresolved and bittersweet tones. Laughable though some of its efforts at sophistication look today, the film also delivers real beauty and real bite. Fun watching the scenes set in the south of France from that era too — God, how I love what the Riviera once meant to world film audiences. Opening titles by Saul Bass; cinematography by Georges Périnal; music by Georges Auric; and with some appearances by Juliette Greco. Young movie fans who aren’t familiar with those names have a lot of fun exploring before them.
- The film isn’t on Netflix, darn it. I bought a used DVD from Amazon. Still expensive, but well worth the cost and effort.
- A Chris Fujiwara appreciation of Preminger.
- A French-only interview with Françoise Sagan.
- Olivier Père chats about the filming of “Bonjour, Tristesse” with Mylène Demongeot.
- A brilliant short appreciation of the film, adorned with a lot of first-rate visuals, by Lloyd Fonvielle. Read UR’s interview with Lloyd.