Jeanne Moreau

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Jeanne Moreau was a French actress, singer, screenwriter and director. She won the Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actress for Seven Days… Seven Nights (1960), the BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actress for Viva Maria!(1965), and the César Award for Best Actress for The Old Lady Who Walked in the Sea (1992). She was also the recipient of several lifetime awards, including a BAFTA Fellowship in 1996.

Moreau made her theatrical debut in 1947, and established herself as one of the leading actresses of the Comédie-Française. She began playing small roles in films in 1949, with impressive performances in the Fernandel vehicle Meurtres? (Three Sinners, 1950) and alongside Jean Gabin as a showgirl/gangster’s moll in the film Touchez pas au grisbi (1954). She achieved prominence as the star of Elevator to the Gallows (1958), directed by Louis Malle, and Jules et Jim (1962), directed by François Truffaut. Most prolific during the 1960s, Moreau continued to appear in films into her eighties. She died at the age of 89 in 2017.

In 1963 she also released a self titled album that had the secondary title of 12 Chansons. This album was in a second hand bin and I picked it up, looked it over, and bought it. I really have no idea why, none, as I knew it was in French and I don’t understand French. The only thing I can be sure of is that the last record I received from ‘That Special Record’  , before they closed their doors, probably made me open to it, this record being Claude Lombard ‎– Claude Lombard Chante.

The first two paragraphs probably make it look like I knew who Jeanne Moreau was, but I didn’t, I copied them from Wikipedia, but I think I may see if I can find a few of the better known films she appeared in and give them a viewing, one of which will be Ascenseur pour l’échafaud (Elevator to the Gallows— alternatively known as Lift to the Scaffold) and the reason why is the video that ends this post. You’ll see it when you get there. As a side note, according to Discogs, the album is worth twice as much as I paid for it, which is nice, but probably irrelevant.

I find the comments on most of the videos rather odd in a way, almost all of them have R.I.P as a comment, which I sort of get but she isn’t going to read them and youtube isn’t, as far as I know, the place you go to mourn somebody you didn’t know, or maybe it is, modern life is odd.

Tracklist

A1 J’Ai La Mémoire Qui Flanche
A2 La Vie S’Envole
A3 La Peau, Léon
A4 Rien N’Arrive Plus
A5 Moi Je Préfère
A6 Le Blues Indolent
B1 La Vie De Cocagne
B2 L’Homme D’Amour
B3 L’Horloger
B4 Ni Trop Tôt, Ni Trop Tard
B5 Les Mensonges
B6 L’Amour Flou

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This is Moreau singing Le Tourbillon, which isn’t on the album but the back cover is clearly a still from this film (François Truffaut’s film ‘Jules et Jim’). She is adorable.

Though not on the album, here is an extra from a film she appeared in that is basically her walking down a street with Miles Davis providing the music. It is rather lovely.

In December of 1957, Miles Davis journeyed to France to record the score to the director Louis Malle’s film Ascenseur pour l’échafaud (Elevator to the Gallows— alternatively known as Lift to the Scaffold).  The recording, which featured American drummer Kenny Clarke and French session musicians René Urtreger, Pierre Michelot and Barney Wilen, is noteworthy because it was totally improvised while the musicians watched the movie on a screen.  The movie itself — Malle’s feature-film debut — is described by critic Terrence Rafferty as a “richly atmospheric thriller of murder and mistaken identity unfolding over one restless Parisian night.”  In this photo, Davis entertains the film’s star, the French actress Jeanne Moreau.

miles-davis

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