…And God created woman (1956)

“Et Dieu… créa la femme” (1956)

Director: Roger Vadim

Writers: Roger Vadim and Raoul Lévy

Genre: Drama

IMDb

cinematic self-biography

“the problem with the future is that it always ruins the present”, says Bardot at the beginning. my intuition relates this sentence with some of the role this picture would perform in cinema context in years to come.

This is a really important film. From a sociological and cinematic point of view. Nevertheless, it is NOT a good film. It hasn’t got a strong plot, a strong idea nor strong performers. But it has BB and a boiling revolution in cinema that was to come in just 4 years and that shows its claws here.

Social phenomena

Brigitte Bardot popped out here. The first scene grants her a place in collective imagination of the western society. The rest of the film defines a new personality for sex symbol. The one which is not so much different than the ordinary person, only more beautiful. This is her film, and she’s the only one you will remember after a very short time after watching it (her, not the character).

Cinematic issues

(1) I can’t tell exactly how far Vadim was self-aware about what he was doing here, or if he predicted that he was, probably, beginning something which would bring consequences to our days. Anyway, what he wanted to tell with this picture, was his own story, in which Bardot was, at this moment, the main character. Carradine (Jürgens) was, i suspect, Vadim himself. Bardot is liberal, does whatever she wants, out of innocence and joy. Carradine is experienced, sees everything, or at least knows about it, allows everything, but always controlling in the distance, always caring for what happens and always planning over it.

(2) The composition is not old fashioned anymore, even though the plot line and themes depicted could report to some classical light comedy, used to exhaustion until then. The camera movements are bold, though useless most of the times, Vadim is trying to change, even though he wasn’t competent enough to make it worthwhile (that job would go to Godard, mainly, and Truffaut). Also the development-climax-conclusion form doesn’t apply so clearly here.

So, this film is (1) self-referential to its author and (2) searching a personal innovative way to expose a story (film about cinema). That makes it maybe the first nouvelle vague constructed film, 3 years before “4 cents…” and 4 before “a bout de souffle”. Here, as with Barbarella, Vadim introduces elements of innovation, that would change pop thinking and pop culture, without producing really good watchable films, almost on the contrary.

My evaluation: 3/5 This an important worthwhile seeing NOT such a good film.

This comment on IMDb

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