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The Private Diaries of Catherine Deneuve: My Life Behind the Camera With Luis Bunuel, Francois Truffaut, Roman Polanski, and Lars Von Trier Paperback
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About the Author
Catherine Denueve's breakthrough role came with Les Parapluies de Cherbourg, which won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival. She has worked with cinema's finest directors, starring in Buñuel's Belle de Jour and François Truffaut's iconic Le Dernier Métro. In 1992 she won a César Award and was nominated for an Oscar for her role in Indochine. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Top customer reviews
This isn't an autobiography, and it's all the better for it.
An enjoyable and quick read for those interested in behind-the-scenes look into films, with a cinema icon as your personal guide.
Translated by Polly Mclean, Pegasus New York
A surprising series of jottings on films, very cleary in Mlle Deneuve's mind and hand, and a complementary interview with eminent French film critic, screenwriter and actor Pascal Bonitzer. Immaculately translated. Only goof-up is editorial/publisher's interference, which I discuss at the end of my brief comment in a PS.
Most impressive to me is how Mlle Deneuve expresses her work on Bunuel's "Tristana", perhaps her and Dom Luis' (she uses his Spanish honorific) best film of their respective careers. Turned in Toledo and studios with Spanish crew and all actors but herself speaking Spanish, she felt isolated, left alone in many details where asking Bunuel would have been silly, but which altogether added up to considerable stress, already freezing in her prescribed light summer clothes worn inside, in an unheated environment... She does not ask for sympathy, simply tells us how it was.
Her respect and admiration for Roman Polanski, with whom she did "Repulsion" quite early in her career, sketches perhaps one of the best portraits of Polanski's skills, personality and temporary misfortunes. Mlle Deneuve is full of genuine respect of people she particularly liked (which includes François Truffaut). In other cases, she makes her negative impression quite clear, but never offensively, just plain honest and polite, vraie Grande Dame.
PS Now the editor's blunders, which I take seriously because eg publishers like Taschen and film writers like Jean-Claude Carriere or Serge Toubiana continuously do excellent work - to me a sign of quality, and even more so, of respect to the text and author. Pegasus are using titles of various length for the book, including wrong referencing of subtitles - quite contrary to the French original title, which simply, unambiguously, and quite poetically reads Catherine Deneuve, "A l'ombre de moi-même" (Editions Stock, 2005). Add a back cover page, so full of nonsense and misprints that nobody would believe my word: Deneuve often as Denueve, Louis Bunuel for the trademark of his Buñuel.
Of the three critics' blurp quotes, two are of the same caliber: the Washington Post speaks of "Marvelous diaries of a French cineaste" - neither "diaries" nor "cineaste" is correct; Kirkus Review rhapsodically start with "The French icon's film diaries...", which is all false hogwash!
What an insult, or, in French, quel scandal!
fbus 22 Catherine Deneuve 1 June 2012