Thursday, June 28, 2007
I really like my ongoing 'Artist and Muse' series. It allows me to post some of my favorite behind the scenes photos and highlight some remarkable artistic relationships where both parties are equally and simultaneously 'artist' and 'muse'.
Today I was inspired by Cinebeats birthday tribute to the powerful Isabelle Adjani to offer up my first double bill of this series.
Adjani's performance for Francois Truffaut in THE STORY OF ADELE H. is one of the the greatest I have ever seen. Searing, intense and finally heartbreaking, the 19 year old Adjani delivered arguably the greatest performance anyone ever did for Truffaut which puts her ahead of some very strong competition.
I love reading Truffaut's accounts of the teenage powerhouse on his set, at times he seems nearly frightened by the emotion and dedication that she invested in the role and his close ups of her remarkable face are among my favorites in screen history. Adjani would receive her first Oscar nomination for THE STORY OF ADELE H. and in my view she should have won it.
Adjani's follow up to THE STORY OF ADELE H. was Roman Polanski's masterful THE TENANT. Long one of Polanski's most underrated masterpieces, THE TENANT features Adjani in a relatively small but extremely effective role that would show that she was capable of playing anything delivered to her.
Adjani would unfortunately never work with either Francois or Roman again but these two performances would kick start one of the great careers in modern cinema. Isabelle would soon be working with directors ranging from Werner Herzog to Andrzej Zulawski and can still frankly wipe the floor with most of modern cinema's greatest actors. I'd like to join in and wish her a, day late, happy birthday and I hope that one day she decides to return to the cinema screen again.