Skip to schedule and film credits
Jean Genet wrote the script for this delectably depraved tale about a sadomasochistic schoolmistress (Jeanne Moreau) in a provincial French town who meets her match in a lustful, itinerant Italian labourer.
Purple, perverse, malicious, delicious, Mademoiselle has a script by Jean Genet and a delectably depraved performance by Jeanne Moreau as the eponymous Miss, a supposedly dignified, quiet schoolteacher in a rural French village. An Italian itinerant (Ettore Manni) who has aroused rampant lust among the local women gets blamed for a series of natural disasters. Little do the townspeople suspect that their prim institutrice finds sexual pleasure in disciplining schoolboys, creating floods, and dabbling in arson. When the Italian worker and the French teacher encounter each other in a storm, they don't need a match to light the night on fire. One must turn to Patti Smith's famous paean to Mademoiselle to capture the full flavour of their mating: "There's like this burly Italian Burt Lancaster who walks through the fields with a big gold St. Christopher medal on his chest and his shirt open, and he's reeking of the wine fields, and he's got a chainsaw because he's a lumberjack — and there's all this tension because you know they're gonna do it and when they do, they don't let you down. When they fuck it's so heavy. It's out in the field. He rips off her dress and she's like an instant animal. He makes her crawl through the field barking like a dog and she's got this chiffon dress on, which he rips to shreds." (Believe us, that's not a spoiler!)