18 December 2021

Walerian Borowczyk's Blanche (1971)

Walerian Borowczyk's Blanche is set in a convincingly medieval (thirteenth century) context with musical instruments of the time. The lord of the manor (Michel Simon) in his eighties and is married to a very young and beautiful woman played by Borowczyk's wife Ligia Branice as the Blanche of the title. And everyone falls in love with her, including (mutually) her stepson Nicolas (Lawrence Trimble) and the people visiting the castle, such as the king himself (Georges Wilson) and his page Bartoloméo (Jacques Perrin). Much blood will be spent, and not a great number of the protagonists will survive, apart from the king and the dove (which surely in some respects represents Blanche herself?).

This is said by many to be Borowczyk's best film, and I can believe it: a sumptuous feast.

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