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Wow Or Yow? New Bardot DVD Set

With its attractive, plush plastic packaging that reminds me of a small, sexy pillow, I looked forward to cracking open the new Brigette Bardot 5-Film Collection from Lionsgate.  The thing is, even though these are not Bardot’s best films by any stretch of the imagination, they will likely be important viewing for fans of the playful French beauty.

So, I disagree with New York Times writer Dave Kehr who says these films may not be worth a second look.  To me, they’re worth a more than a cursory glance because they’re cultural artifacts.  They show how the French looked and leered at their stars in the 50s and 60s.  Movies like Naughty Girl are pop films, something like lengthier sitcoms, and they show Bardot as a big baby.  In fact, most of the movies in the package show her as just that.

As Kehr rightly mentions in his story, these are movies that the French New Wave directors so desperately wanted to strike out against.  And yet, if you look hard enough, you can see Bardot, the actor with ability.  It’s what Godard saw as well in Bardot.  He went beyond the bombshell to get a multi-faceted performance from Bardot in Contempt.  To understand how important that was for Bardot and for film history, it’s important to watch, and occasionally savor, these lesser films.

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