Bonjour Tristesse (1958)

Bonjour Tristesse (1958), directed by Otto Preminger.

"Hello Sadness".

On the lovely French Riviera, a playboy father (David Niven) and his teenaged daughter (Jean Seberg, age 20) lead an idyllic dissipated life that suits both of them. Dad incautiously invites two women for the same weekend; one is the formidable Deborah Kerr. She might take over and ruin things; what to do about that?

The father-daughter relationship is one of the oddest I can remember. We don't imagine any incest, but they are physically casual and more intimate and trusting with each other than many lovers or married couples.

We understand a spoiled young woman wants what she wants and won't be managed, but Dad is much the same. Totally irresponsible and not at all interested in anything other than short-term casual conquests.

The daughter has a love scene with her young man that fades to black. Research topic: when was the first implied sex with teenagers in film?

Dad's other girlfriend has funny lines: "I will not be treated like a wife!" and "No lady goes home alone".

The color story is told within a B&W frame: after the main events the daughter sadly reflects on an unforgivable thing she did. The main story in color is a flashback to the earlier more farcical events. The frame is more sober and I think more interesting.

Not well received in America or Britain, and critics were especially unkind to Jean Seberg. On the other hand, the French loved both her and the film; Godard said Breathless could have been a direct sequel.

Beautiful imagery, both in the color and B&W segments.

Twilight Time Blu-ray.