I haven’t seen many of Brigitte Bardot’s films, relatively speaking, nor would I consider myself a “fan” — yet, there is something about her that lures me in every once in awhile and I’ll go on a BB kick (so to speak — she could rock thigh-high boots like nobody’s biz).
Interest has been reignited by seeing her portrayed by Laetitia Casta in the beautiful biopic, Gainsbourg: A Historic Life, but I am trying to remember when I first became truly aware of her. I suppose I always knew who she was on some level, my own mom being something of a sex symbol and pinup… so, I grew up with an almost inborn appreciation of feminine beauty — but my first strong recollection is from reading Roger Vadim’s autobiography, BARDOT-DENEUVE-FONDA in 1986. It is an extremely personal, revealing book, certainly one of the best filmmaker memoirs I’ve read. I’ve gone back to it a couple of times, since.
I saw some of her movies in the 80s. I recall checking out her breakout film, one directed by Vadim, called And God Created Woman (1956). A few years back, I watched all of the movies (Come Dance With Me!, Les Femmes, Love on a Pillow, Naughty Girl, À Coeur Joie) on a boxed set I got for review. I remember not being overly impressed with the dated films, but I liked her. She’s a woman with playful, girlish qualities, but it’s easy to see at a glance that she’s nobody’s fool.
Favorite Bardot performances of mine are definitely from the Edgar Allan Poe anthology, Spirits of the Dead (1968), in which she’s a brunet bad-girl named Giuseppina (in the segment William Wilson, with Alain Delon and directed by Louis Malle), and Contempt (1963), directed by Jean-Luc Godard. I only just saw the latter for the first time in 2010, some 37 years after its golden star retired from the silver screen.
This image from it has ever captured my imagination, but the entire film is even better. It’s a must-see for anyone who loves movies about movies.
She’s only wearing a sheet in that image, and is only clad in little of the same in the Gainsbourg pic, however, she was known for a certain “look” and seeing it once again gave me the impetus to break out the black thigh-highs and my vintage style leopard-print coat from storage.
I’ve never been much for boots myself. Being petite as I am, heels, especially the kind that don’t create a break at the ankle, look best on me. But that doesn’t mean I can create an illusion through photography — hence, my boot-kick. Here are some cool kicks I really love…