Thursday, March 01, 2012

The Girl on a Motorcycle: Take One

The shortest way to characterize Jack Cardiff's The Girl on a Motorcycle (1968) / La motocyclette (aka Naked Under Leather)? Madame Bovary on a motorcycle. Given Cardiff's experience as a cinematographer, it's not surprising that a lot of this B movie's strength is visual. That's a good thing, because the soundtrack is cheesy, ersatz, brassy and corndog.

The tale, much of it a joyride, employs internal monologue, flashbacks and psychedelia. The feel reminds me a little of Roman Polanski's Rosemary's Baby (1968) and John Palmer and David Weisman's Ciao! Manhattan (1972), starring Edie Sedgwick. Certainly it's nowhere near as whacky as Roger Vadim's Barbarella (1968).  

In The Girl on a Motorcycle -- based on André Pieyre de Mandiargues' short 1963 novel La Motocyclette -- Rebecca (Marianne Faithfull), rides via a motorcycle between her slightly masochistic husband Raymond (Roger Mutton) and her slightly sadistic paramour Daniel (Alain Delon). The motocycle (a Harley Davidson Electra Glide), a wedding gift from the latter to Rebecca, provides her a vehicle for escape and freedom, but also keeps her hooked and sometimes inspires a certain recklessness.

"Rebellion is the only thing that keeps you alive!"

Today's Rune: Protection.


Adorably Dead said...

These photos reminded me that I will always have a soft spot for 60's and 70's era hair and fashion.

the walking man said...

That's funny AD i was thinking the same thing about an Electra Glide!