1974 Les Valseuses qualifies for an outrageous film
It perfectly reflects the mood of the 70’s in France : President Pompidou has died, Giscard was elected because he represented YOUTH. It’s the time when majority was set at 18 and abortion was no longer legally punishable.
It’s all about SEX. Not sex as passion, or sex that implies complications, guilt feelings …No in this picture sex is totally innocent and joyful, in a world where two hooligans commit minor delinquencies mostly just to have fun. The two young men are joined by an adolescent girl…and the three try and fail to reach climax despite their repeated and persistent attempts.
This is the first major cinematic role of Gérard Depardieu and playing the part of an innocent thug comes very naturally for him : that is exactly what he was at the time before he became arguably the greatest living French actor. Innocent nudity is what describes the performance of Miou-Miou – who also went on for a long film career. The other young man : Patrick Devaere has long been considered as an alter ego of Depardieu, and amongst the minor characters one recognizes Jeanne Moreau and also Isabelle Huppert.
Nowadays films don’t hesitate to show nudity, sex scenes, criminal conduct …what we no longer could present is the joyful innocence of all of it. That period is gone.