People talk 2/11

Monday, February 11, 2002

French diva Deneuve kisses woman in role

BERLIN -- Catherine Deneuve is hardly a screen novice, but breaking a bottle over the head of a fellow actress and kissing a woman were departures for the French diva in her newest film, "8 Femmes."

"It had to be violent and brutal, but it was difficult," Deneuve said of the bottle-breaking while at the Berlin Film Festival to promote the movie Saturday. "But you don't need many takes to do a scene like that -- fortunately."

Director Francois Ozon's musical murder mystery set in the 1950s is competing for the annual festival's top award, the Golden Bear.

Three days after the film debuted in France, Deneuve discussed what it was like to kiss a woman on screen for the first time.

"As soon as you start touching physically, you stop fully acting," said Deneuve, 58, describing a scene with Fanny Ardant in which the two women begin by fighting and end up in a "strongly emotional kissing scene."

"It's very personal," Deneuve said, adding that "it would be just as difficult with a male actor."

Deneuve's credits since the 1950s includes the 1993 Oscar winner "Indochine" and "Dancer in the Dark."

Film focuses on Dietrich's fight against the Nazis

BERLIN -- Marlene Dietrich was not the femme fatale she played in her films, but was an emotionally distant woman and a harsh disciplinarian with her only child, her grandson said Sunday.

Yet this is not the side of the German-born actress and singer her grandson, director J. David Riva, chose to explore in a documentary.

"Marlene Dietrich: Her Own Story" focuses on her hatred of the Nazis and her passion for the Allied effort to defeat Hitler's Third Reich.

Germans have seen Dietrich, who died in 1992, as a symbol of resistance to Hitler -- or a traitor. A star in pre-Nazi Germany, the blonde whose father was a Prussian general symbolized the Nazi ideal of the "Aryan" woman. Her decision to become a U.S. citizen and work in Hollywood after the Nazis took power in 1933 was a blow to Hitler and his propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels.

-- From wire reports

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