Friday, 14 January 2011

From Anémone to Zouzou

Wikipedia boss Jimmy Wales recently revealed his favourite entry on the public encyclopedia is about the metal umlaut, and I am increasingly fascinated with its categories (a few of those for pop star Keren Ann alone are worth noting: Dutch people of Indonesian descent; People from Haifa District; Israeli immigrants to the Netherlands). I'm pleased to see, however, that this massive database doesn't have one category I'm intrigued by - so far.

French actresses with one-word names may not seem a particularly fruitful line of investigation but it features Arletty (1898-1992), the star of Hôtel du nord (1938), alongside Annabella, and Les enfants du paradis (pictured; 1945), among others. (There is a more general list of one-word stage names on Wiki.)

Another former music-hall star, who appeared in such movies as Pépé le Moko (1937), is Fréhel (1891-1951): she was a notorious alcoholic whose lovely Si tu n'étais pas là features on the Amélie soundtrack. Many French pop stars transfer to film, including Lio and the naturalised Dalida, as well as models, such as Capucine and Zouzou, the lead in Eric Rohmer's Love in the Afternoon (1972).

Florelle, of Jean Renoir's Le crime de Monsieur Lange (1936), also starred in a Simenon adaptation, Les caves du Majestic (1945), which is translated very awkwardly on IMDb. Then there is Anémone, who won a César for her role in Le grand chemin (1987), alongside Richard Bohringer. The last one I can think of is Miou-Miou (Les valseuses, La lectrice, Milou en mai...) - so good, as the saying goes, they named her twice.

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