Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Venomous Vixens: Mireille Dargent

French actress Mireille Dargent acted in six movies, four of which were for director Jean Rollin. The one she’s most known for is a Rollin film where her presence reverberated inside my memory, ever since I saw it. This film is Requiem for a Vampire, where the sultry redhead appears alongside one-half of the Castel twins, Marie-Pierre Castel. The two actresses play a couple of inseparable lovers, who after escaping some sort of crime heist, curiously dressed as clowns, eventually find themselves in vampire territory. Interestingly enough, we are introduced to this clown couple and their male companion at the start of the film in a high speed chase with guns blazing. After losing their pursuers, their male companion passes away, not surviving his gunshot wound. The two clowns, named Michelle (Dargent) and Marie (Castel), set fire to their car, with the deceased’s body inside of it, before travelling off on foot and on their own. When they wash off the paint and lose their clown getup, it’s revealed, not surprisingly, that there were a couple of attractive girls underneath the clown makeup. 




With her red pigtails, school girl look, and pulled up socks, Mireille kind of gives off a grownup Pippi Longstocking vibe with an additional slight resemblance to Katherine Isabelle of Ginger Snaps fame, though with a unique beauty all her own that wonderfully compliments Rollin’s sexy, dark, and poetic imagery-laden film. Her character is more unsuccessful at resisting the influence of the vampires than her partner, and in a sexy little scene, earning her the title of Venomous Vixen, she playfully seduces and taunts a victim to his doom. 





While exploring more of Rollin’s work, it was an unexpected surprise for me to see Mireille show up again as a clown in two other films, whose titles shall be withheld so as to not spoil the surprise too much. While this makes for a delightful fan boy (or fan girl) moment for those that have seen Requiem for a Vampire, it would nonetheless be a little head scratching for those unfamiliar with Requiem and the significance of this clown randomly showing up in these later films.


Mireille cameos as a sad clown in a graveyard for Rollin in another film in what I believe to be a sort of self-referencing homage to his previous film as well as a nod to the fans.

Here, Rollin treats us to Mireille again as a clown for a third time. This time she actually acts like a clown, and we get to see her lose the makeup again.


Behind the scenes with Rollin, Castel, and Dargent on the set of Requiem for a Vampire. Image taken from Fascination: The Jean Rollin Experience.


Belle!

Apparently, Jean Rollin had discovered that the agent who had introduced him to Mireille was pocketing all of her wages, leaving her with nothing. Admirably, Jean hired a lawyer, and the agent had to pay Mireille back in full, and a close friendship developed between the two. I’m happy she got to star in three more films with Jean, but I only wish there would’ve been more. Still, what little there is was very significant to Jean Rollin’s work, and her being fairly unknown otherwise, makes her somewhat of a special treat for fans. 

4 comments:

  1. "Jean hired a lawyer, and the agent had to pay Mireille back in full"

    I knew I liked Jean Rollin for a reason lol.

    This is definitely my new favorite series to read. Anywhere, not just here. Thanks for bringing all your insight! Gotta say now I'm damn curious where the two cameos are.

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    1. It was a pleasure to put together and thank you for reading, Jonny! I'm happy to know you like it. This feature will definitely have a future on this blog. Now who will the next one be? ;)

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  2. I love this review! Unfortunately the only way that I'll be able to see a lot of these shows is if I torrent them. You're gonna get me into trouble, lol.

    Merry Christmas to you!

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    1. Merry Christmas, my friend! Been on holiday, but I plan on getting back into the swing of things at the start of the new year.

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