Who are you Polly Maggoo?
(William Klein 1966). It's on Arte currently.
A typical, but good example of the sort of 'new wave' art film from France at that time. Suffused with surrealism, oblique politico-cultural touches and unexpected editing (though this editing works here as it moves between scenes). There is a lot to unravel if one is so inclined, or just to take in. American 60s model Dorothy McGowan stars as the titular character and does a fine job. Arte's website listed her in the credits as 'Catriona McGowan'. Which is odd.
When the intrusive film crew invaded her room for filming and she was giving her life story, she said :"Quand j'ai 16 ans je suis venu 'mannequin', en français 'cover girl'...
One of those cases where the English term for some pop-culture thing is the most well-known term in a foreign language. Like the word 'star' has now replaced 'vedette'.
I also liked the bit where the 'prince' went to his little media den and in a bored way just touched momentarily and disinterestedly all the things to which he had easy access. TV on (cool TV) remote control toys, reel-to-reel tape machine which then provided his applause for that conjuring trick.
There are some Godard-like touches. Such as the jab at the French believing themselves to be America's 'parent'. Also the remark: "TV films are better than the cinema. You watch TV absent-mindedly, like it's life. At the cinema you pay too much attention, we shouldn't.
" This is discussed in that book Godard On Godard. His faith in TV as a more immediate propaganda medium reaching the masses has some truth, though just like the same people don't go to an art film, some don't watch the TV message. Or see it and equally pay no attention, or may not 'understand' it. This film seems to be mocking that somewhat because we see behind the scenes how manufactured and somewhat vacuous the message is. And like when she says to Jean Rochefort: "The world could fall apart and all you would do is film it
It's amusing, if not very subtle, that everyone accuses her of being unreal and a masquerader, but it is everyone else striking a permanent overdone pose. I don't know what to make of the thin filament running through it concerning 'Cinderella'. Apart from it being played out via the 'prince' and then referring to her as Cinderella. And yet the prince is fickle with no real unique desires. And Polly Maggoo, (who is she?) is just one person in a giant crowd.
I liked this film. I think Terry Gilliam must have seen it, the influence appears strong.