Monday, February 13, 2012

Capucine: Snow Angel

‘Capucine’. One word, an icy brand distilled from the warmer ‘Germaine Hélène Irène Lefebvre’. But then her elegance didn’t permit intimacy. And that was her appeal. A snow angel with dazzling detachment.
Who would believe such a thing?
Born 1928. A Parisian model at 17, then into films. She was surprisingly adept at comedy, a genre strangely receptive to manic depressives. Without darkness we can’t know light?

She was saved from suicide more than once, but who would believe such a thing? The cheekbones, the plush lips, swept-back mane, the porcelain skin, who would believe it?

It’s 1952 and she lands a 2-week modeling gig aboard a French cruise ship and shares a cabin with Brigitte Bardot, 17, a chorus dancer. O pillow talk. Who would believe it?
With Peter Sellers
“Men look at me,” she opined, “like I'm a suspicious-looking trunk, and they're customs agents.” There’s a difference between beautiful and pretty — and in the face of beauty men grow wary, weakened by exposure to the spiritual, anxious to resume a cosmetic, manufactured appreciation.

She also said, “"Every time I get in front of a camera, I think of it as an attractive man I am meeting for the first time...” All the best faces know — instinctively it seems — the camera is a mirror in which you
Poor Snow Angel
slowly, with great art and artifice, seduce yourself, make love to the flesh and fear and forget-me-nots that are you. But therein lays disease and finally, after injecting one too many color chemical emulsions at 1/60th of a second — a kind of walking madness. Narcissus didn’t drown. He couldn’t tolerate the terrible pain of perfection — even his own.

So in 1990, she ended herself. A bi-polar decision lending a polar patina of white frost spangled like sapphires trailing the gorgeous curve of her neck.

The word 'Capucine' is French and refers to flowers. But poor snow angels, they never live to see spring.