Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Sink or Swim

The Silliest Question Ever Asked


In François Truffaut’s film La sirène du Mississipi [sic], known as Mississippi Mermaid in English, (adapted from the novel Waltz Into Darkness by Cornell Woolrich), Jean-Paul Belmondo waits expectantly on dockside for the arrival of the woman he has asked to marry him; they have never met, having found each other through a lonely-hearts advertisement. The woman in the picture he has received from her, a brunette, does not disembark the ship. Rather disheartened, Belmondo returns to his car, where suddenly Catherine Deneuve appears, claiming to be Julie Roussel, his fiancée. The picture Belmondo has is not of her, she says, because she used a photo of a friend of hers. Then Deneuve utters the all-time silliest question (rendered here in English): “You’re not disappointed?”

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