Arte is broadcasting “La Sirène du Mississipi” by François Truffaut this evening at 8:55 pm, with Deneuve and Belmondo. A thriller which will inspire about thirty years later an American film with Angelina Jolie and Antonio Banderas.
Released in 1969, La Sirène du Mississipi (with a single -p, in reference not to the river but to the name of the ship from which Catherine Deneuve’s character landed) features a femme fatale who usurps the identity of a another and marries a rich man, met through a marriage agency. François Truffaut brings together Jean-Paul Belmondo in front of his camera and Catherine Deneuve, who had shared the poster for La Chasse à l’homme five years earlier.
The director adapts William Irish’s detective novel for the occasion, The Mississippi Mermaid (named after the river this time, aka Waltz Into Darkness in original version), published in 1950. The writer, also known as Cornell Woolrich, was already brought to the screen by Truffaut in 1967 with The Bride Was in Black. He also inspired an equally prestigious filmmaker, Alfred Hitchcock, who adapts his short story Window on courtyard in 1954.
Thirty-two years later, The Mississippi Mermaid returns to the big screen with Original Sin, worn by torrid duo Antonio Banderas and Angelina Jolie. If the film is intended to be more sensual, the story remains the same: a rich coffee merchant decides to take an American woman as his wife. It turns out even more beautiful than he had imagined and it does not take long to fall under its charm. But their romance begins to take a disturbing turn …
Original Sin is signed Michael Cristofer, who had previously directed Jolie in the television movie Anatomy of a Top Model, which traces the shattered fate of model Gia Carangi. Also known for being the screenwriter of The Witches of Eastwick, Cristofer mainly pursued his career as a playwright and actor. We could see it in particular in Mr. Robot. His latest production, The Night Clerk, starring Tye Sheridan and Ana de Armas, was released directly on VOD in France last April.