Sophie Marceau – the Batty and the Breast
Posted by dlandgren on 2009-02-10
We were talking with some friends the other day and at one point the topic of conversation drifted to Sophie Marceau and what a bad actress she is. We laughed as we recalled her speech at the 1999 Cannes film festival. It’s a classic.
What is more difficult is finding a transcript of the speech on the Web. I had read it at the time in le Canard Enchaîné (and saved the paper for years, thinking I’d post it on the web one day, but never got around to it, and it vanished into household entropy). Fortunately someone else either did just that, or actually sat down and transcribed her ramblings from a video like the above (in which case I take my hat off). After a long search was therefore pleased to track down:
It’s so goood, I simply had to tranlsate it. So (he nods to search engines far and wide) here’s an English translation of Sophie Marceau’s speech at the 1999 Cannes film festival:
Kristin Scott-Thomas: And now, for the most controversial prize, the most consensual, but always the most coveted: the Golden Palm, I welcome a most eclectic, and truly international French actress, envied by all for spending her time in the company of the most seductive of secret agents, Bond, James Bond… Sophie Marceau.
Sophie Marceau : Good evening. Oh, what a day, uh… three days ago I was asked to present the Golden Palm, I was honoured, I didn’t hesitate for a second. Things have been hectic since then, and uh… a lot was needed, so I thought of eighteen speeches, I wrote five; someone handed me one back stage, five minutes ago, I’ll read it to you after, perhaps it’ll be, uh… fine, uh…
So I just, I got here ’bout a couple of hours ago, I wanted to know is Cannes like, what’s it about, what’s going on, what’s it like, what is it, I asked everywhere, so I… I got like, sorts of answers, um, that said: “Oh! Cannes, it’s such a pain, it’s awful, I tell ya, Cabourg is much better” And uh, yeah ok, but what about the films, what about them, uh, the films, uh, oh! There was, uh, luckily Almodovar was around to wake up the Croisette a bit, there was, shhh, excuse me?
There was, there was, well I’m getting mixed up, but [deep breath], I’ll get there, uh, there are all these films, uh, that are, uh, that are here tonight and that were… um… um… watched. [cat-calls in the audience]. In any case, I will, um, be very happy for the lucky person who tonight will win this, this Golden Palm and will remind us, uh, all those who have won the Golden Palm and who, and all those who didn’t win it but who were with the cinema, who made the cinema and who uh… And who, and it’s important and, and I wanted to to say, I wanted to to speak to you of of of th… I wanted to speak of other things than the cinema, because there are other things more important than the cinema and then, and then, I spent a day with some children [cat-calls] who were seriously ill.
And I can tell you [cat-calls] that the cinema is something that counts in the world, instead of making war, we make films and I tell you that it makes people dream, and that gives them a… a purpose, a project, uh, right now and something that stays forever, um…
I will now…
Kristin Scott-Thomas : Monsieur le président, we will now… Oh! Pardon me, I interrupted you…
And that led to the second subject of discussion, The Breast of Sophie Marceau at the 2005 Cannes film festival. She scored herself some serious airtime when, walking through a thicket of photographers and news crews filming the Beautiful People for all the rest of us plebs, the shoulder strap of her dress fell down, and revealed a breast. Shocking!
Of course, lots of people made even more fun of her after that episode, because if you watched the replay closely it was quite easy to see she was rolling her shoulder through little circular movements leading up to the Event. And thus when the strap fell, at maximum photographer per square meter density, she was able to express innocent surprise at what just transpired.
The really, really weird part of the story is that you can’t find the footage on the web any more. So much for information wants to be free. If you search for it on Youtube, there a clip sure enough… but it only lasts for four seconds. You can almost see the last shoulder swivel.
So you get to see the breast, well, yippee. That’s the first thing you notice when you come into this world anyway, so… not a big deal. Dailymotion has a clip which is apparently longer, but some puritan has succeeded in having it marked as “mature content”. Some people have no sense of humour.
What you can’t see anymore is longer footage that shows how she set it all up. I dunno, maybe she has really aggressive lawyers that hunted down and exterminated people hosting longer clips. In any event, she managed to kick-start her film career after this little show. I guess, if that’s what it takes…