Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 18, No. 7. June 10, 1954

The Actors

The Actors

He is not well served by his actors. Jose Ferrer given us a tired, uncomplicated Toulouse-Lautrec, monotonous in his volee, and slow and comparatively unruffled in temperament. Gone is the painter's fierce appetite for work and life, his mad enthusiasm to capture in canvas the fascinating low-life of Montmatre. The Toulouse-Lautrec of the film has no bubbling high spirits, no popularity that the original's facetious talk gave him. (Where is the artistic temperament, the high-pitched life with his fellow artists?) We are shown bitterness in his love life but never very clearly why it was there. . . . Often any resemblance be tween the script and Jose Ferrer's performance is purely coincidental. "Why do I get so mad?" "Curiosity is my cardinal weakness," says Toulouse-Lautrec. "That's interesting." says Jose Ferrer and passively, with a dignified reserve, throws the lines to the audience.

Ferrer and Huston cut each other's throats. An occasional director's device is weakened by Ferrer's performance, while Ferrer's performance in moments when it may begin to bloom, is frustrated by the director's lack of understanding. Collette Marchand as Mane and Zsa Zsa Gabor as Jane Avril, however, cut their own throats. Their performances stand brilliantly in their own right as amateurish. The actress who played Miriam appealed to me, as did some of the supporting players. Or was it the brilliance and the imagination of the photography that covered their lack of the same qualities?

Henri de Toulouse-[unclear: Lautitc] and John Huston—romantic-reallsts. Huston the romantic-reallst director of photography succeeds: Huston the romantic-realist director of character and incident gives us unimaginative romanticism-realism and falls. Huston is (I hope only temporarily) my fallen idol.