“And God Created Woman”: Why Did This Movie Create the Bardot Myth?
On the occasion of the broadcast of the Bardot series on France 2 on May 8th, a look back at And God Created Woman, that legendary film that created an icon of world cinema.
An avant-garde work
The year is 1956, while Italian neorealism is hatching in Italy, the French New Wave is just beginning. It really dates from 1959 with The 400 Beats, probably the most emblematic film of this precursor movement. Shot in Saint Tropez in natural settings, it is the freedom that Roger Vadim, the director, manifests in relation to the story’s entries that we notice in a precursor film. He takes on previously forbidden subjects, a young woman who “does what she wants, when she wants”. Of course, we discover this feline actress who will turn the heads of all the men in her path with scenes of provocative eroticism. For the time it was innovative, outrageous, against the yoke of morality and good manners. In it, the film marked, and more precisely Brigitte Bardot, who marked by embodying a freedom unusual for a young woman of that time. She takes nonchalance so far that the viewer trembles with envy and fascination. Despite a rather weak scenario, it is really Bardot who carries the film with a Jean Louis Trintignant burning with desire amplifying that of the audience.
Apparently, the Bardot myth stems primarily from the fact that the actress had captivating beauty. The actress was only 20 years old at the time of filming, we see an angel fallen from heaven with amazing forms, which her husband Roger Vadim reveals to the whole world. It is above all the scene of the Mambo de Bardot that sets the powder on fire, this cavalier dance has everything iconic, through the choreography, this provocative approach, this exciting music, these erotic gestures, this feline look: all there East . We experience a cult moment in the film, or rather the birth of the Bardot myth. The fact that, for the first time in cinemas, a woman expresses her desires in the same way as a man also contributes to her myth. At the time of its release, scenes were being cut by the censors, particularly the explicit one of cunnilingus.
“The mambo I dance there was completely improvised. I let my instincts run wild. I danced as I wanted, enchanted by the music, that’s all! It blows your mind, huh? »
the obs. 2016
A look of love
If Bardot became a myth after this film, it is also thanks to the way her husband Roger Vadim looks at her. The camera constantly seeks her gaze, as if trying to seduce her. Bardot plays like a cat, making himself desirable but remaining elusive overall. The intradiegetic music from Gilbert Bécaud to Solange Berry also has a lot to do with it. It underscores the moods of the character of Juliette, played by Bardot. Unlike Piccoli’s line in Le Mépris, where he says to BB, “I love you madly, tenderly, tragically,” this time the viewer is captivated by the golden-haired actress’ sincere, free and unadorned desire. The irony of fate is that Bardot left her husband a year after the film, in 1957. Ironically, BB left with Jean Louis Trintignant, with whom she did not get along on the set.
Also Read: Who Are The Men In The Life Of Brigitte Bardot? (vl-media.fr)
In her memoir, she confided: “Being natural in my love scenes with Jean-Louis, I naturally love him. I felt a consuming passion for him. Her myth stems from the fact that all the men she met fell in love with her. Holy BB