Last week Alain Delon was interviewed by Frédéric Taddéï (https://samourai.wordpress.com/2010/12/08/alain-delon-tonight-or-never/ ) and attended a party for La Règle du Jeu (https://samourai.wordpress.com/2010/12/07/alain-delon-at-party-for-la-regle-du-jeu/ ) Drawing from these two events, Bernard-Henri Lévy ,French philosopher and writer, wove together some observations about his friend, Alain Delon.
Alain Delon on Taddéï
Posted December 8, 2010 on Huffington Post.
“Alain Delon on Frédéric Taddéï’s late night television show in France. What’s it like to be preceded to such a degree by images of oneself? How does one live when a part of oneself, and not the lesser part, remains a prisoner of some of the greatest works in the history of cinema? Who’s talking when he says “I”? Who is this man, Rimbaud’s “other”, represented by «I», of whom he is at once hostage and host? Is he a ghost, or flesh and blood? A spectre who has returned for good, or for the time being? Who goes there when he is there? The exorcized, or the still haunted? An actor among actors or a magic lantern whose light shines on the parade of pale shadows that flashes by, the roles of his life? Is he Visconti’s Tancrede, really, or this wonderful companion who appeared two hours before in a Parisian café, to celebrate the anniversary of my review, La Règle du Jeu? And how does he do it? How can he be here among us, joking with Xavier Beauvois, in conversation with Milan Kundera or Christine Angot, moved by the fate of a young Iranian woman, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, condemned to be stoned to death, whose cause is the dominant theme of this soirée, and yet there, far away, somewhere between the Vel’d’Hiv, Rimini or Cuernavaca, busy directing the ballet of characters to whom he lent a bit of himself and who, as a result, will live longer than he will?
That is the mystery of Delon. That is the paradox he bears, and incarnates, at his peak. And that was the tour de force — yes — of this long televised interview, to momentarily tear down the walls of the imaginary museum, to break the sacred circle of this life and works which surrounds him and to reveal what his true friends, few in number, know: the great feudal lord, lost in a democratic world, all right; a man who can only be himself by being completely his other selves, of course; but the living Delon as well, one who is young and alive to all the curiosities, all the pleasures and bliss of this world. A roué who, even when the Leopard and Monsieur Klein, the Samouraï and the murderer of Maurice Ronet in «La Piscine» are carrying on dialogues within him, even when he appears to be in earnest or sullen conversation with Lino (Ventura) or Luchino (Visconti) or Jean (Gabin), his peers who have gone ahead, leaving him inconsolable, never allows himself to be consumed by his own memory, nor liquidated by his own chimeras. One imagines a Pessoa of cinema, ruling (like the other) over the people of his heteronyms. Or Pirandello’s Moscarda, but one who would have learned to be the “one, no one, and one hundred thousand” of the novel’s title without disintegrating, either, in the nothingness of his innumerable transparent identities. One thinks of a Garbo, who would not have had to disappear in order to inhabit her own legend, a Greta Garbo continuing to live, all the while breathing life into that legend. Delon has this great fortune. And he has the strength.”