Rappaport's remarkable documentary works through Seberg's life, from her Midwest school days, through her much-publicised debut in Preminger's Saint Joan and her success in ABout de Souffle, to her nightmarish marriage to Romain Gary, her involvement with the Black Panthers, and her eventual suicide in 1979. But it also uses the actress's experiences as a starting point for the exploration of an array of subjects. Hurt's Seberg is impressive as she reminisces straight to camera from beyond the grave, but what makes the film so extraordinary is the way Rappaport weaves illuminating connections between the threads of his densely informative thesis. This is intertextuality at its most accessible, provocative and surprising: a scene in Saint Joan, for example, leads to observations on Jane Fonda that take in Klute, Vadim, Vietnam, Josh Logan, workout tapes, Ted Turner, Lev Kuleshov and the opportunities afforded ageing actresses - even as Fonda is rhymed with Falconetti, Vanessa Redgrave and Seberg herself. Entertaining, moving, intellectually sharp and imaginatively brilliant.
Mary Beth Hurt
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