In September 1998, in the last of 10 'Uncensored' episodes went on air, Jana Wendt interviewed Jeanne Moreau. Brian Johns believed the 'Uncensored' series had been "a credit to the ABC. Personally, Jana Wendt's interviews have provided me with some memorable moments." Margo Kingston described the "less than $1 million" program as "the culmination" of Jana Wendt's TV career, "She doesn't want to be the star talking to X. She sits back and gives you a chance to get to know the person you're supposed to be focusing on."

When 'Uncensored' first went on air in July 1998, the program attracted more controversy than expected. It was understood because of Jana Wendt's background in commercial television, and because the thought-provoking interviews series was outsourced to the commercial company, Beyond International to produce and shown on a government-funded network.

At that time, other shows in the government-funded network "lost a minimum of 15% on program budgets." However a representative stated, "This is not about Jana Wendt. It is about the independence and integrity of the ABC, now confronting the full impact of budget cuts." Jana Wendt told 'Fairfax Media', "I don't mind criticism. But what other program which airs at 9.30pm mid-week on the ABC has ever been subjected to this level of scrutiny? I really believe that internal politics have completely overwhelmed the series. If a management is strong it can fix it (a problem like this) immediately. But it takes political will and strength."

Born in Paris in 1928, Jeanne Moreau started acting in 1948. In an interview with Sheila Johnston of 'The Independent' in 2006, Jeanne Moreau remarked, "But violence is born from fear and fear is born from ignorance. Cinema is a way to communicate, to discover other people and life in a different culture. And then you also understand more about yourself." Jeanne Moreau was attending the Istanbul Film Festival at the time.

"The world has changed so much (from the high-art cinema of the 1960s) and luckily film-makers move on with it," Jeanne Moreau made the observation. "Even if the heart of their plots is the same - love, sex, power, greed, jealousy, violence - the background is so different. You can't make a film today (in 2006) without thinking of the social and economic situation of the world, even if it's not a political story.

"In the streets, even now, students stop me sometimes to talk about 'Jules et Jim' (1962). They say, 'Oh, what a marvellous story.' I say, 'Do you remember the end? The end is terrible.' And you know what? I saw it again lately and there's something else in it. It's not only about an impossible relationship; there's the fact that it's set around the First World War and the characters are on different sides. That's what makes it so modern."

In 2001, Jeanne Moreau attended the Kent Film Festival. On the topic of nostalgia, Jeanne Moreau asked Emma Brockes of 'The Guardian' the question, "Nostalgia for what? Nostalgia is when you want things to stay the same. I know so many people staying in the same place. And I think, my God, look at them! They're dead before they die. That's a terrible risk. Living is risking." It was explained Jeanne Moreau's motto was, "The life you had is nothing. It is the life you have that is important."

As understood Jeanne Moreau's dislike of nostalgia related to her own teenage memories of the World War II years. "I did psychotherapy in the '70s. I'm a very dark person, full of doubts and terrible visions - though less and less now (in 2006)," Jeanne Moreau made known at the time. "It was fascinating, and when I'd had enough of Freud, I discovered Jung, whom I much preferred. But it's too late for me to go back into analysis."

In 2001, Jeanne Moreau became the first woman to be inducted into France's Academy of Fine Arts. She told Alan Riding of 'The New York Times' nostalgia was for people who had lost their curiosity, "The cliche is that life is a mountain. You go up, reach the top and then go down. To me, life is going up until you are burned by flames. Life is an accomplishment and each moment has a meaning and you must use it.

"Life is given to you like a flat piece of land and everything has to be done. I hope that when I am finished, my piece of land will be a beautiful garden, so there is a lot of work. I'm not the sort of person who thinks, 'Oh God, wasn't it wonderful when I was 25.'" During the war years, Jeanne Moreau elaborated, "I was aware of everything. Nobody spoke about it, but girls came to school with the yellow star and disappeared. Out of arrogance, my friends and I made little yellow stars and wore them.

"The teachers, the director of the school, went mad. My father was angry. They were all frightened to death. My father worked in a restaurant that had on its door: 'Negroes and Jews Prohibited.' I didn't need to be told about anti-Semitism. The yellow stars, my school friends disappearing and never being seen again, the indignation mixed with fear, the anger, the black market, the prostitution, the German soldiers in the hotel where we lived."

Jeanne Moreau was half-English (French father, Anglo-Irish mother), "So many times I’ve thought how my life would have been different, and my work (if I have come to Britain in 1938). People in France could see I was different from the usual actresses of that time. Maybe that's why I attracted so many Anglo-Saxon directors like Orson Welles and Tony Richardson. In French, one says 'Ma langue maternelle est le francais.' But I say 'Ma langue maternelle est l'anglais.' My feminine side is English." 

In 1957, 'The New York Times' put Jeanne Moreau "in the front rank of the younger generation of the French actresses" because of her "wide experience." 1957 also marked the second last year of The Fourth French Republic. "Since the French Revolution in 1789, France has had 5 different republican systems. All of them have been the results of violent crises," Håkon Tranvåg explained.

The Fourth French Republic was created at the end of World War II in 1945 when 96% of the French citizens voted for a new constitution in a referendum. The fall of France in 1940 was said contributed to France's fourth republican constitution which lasted from 1946 to 1958. In October 1958, the Algerian War for independence, a colony of France since 1827, triggered a new constitution to be introduced in France and the Fifth Republic was born after 79.2% French citizens casted their votes for a new constitution in another referendum.

In 1989, German-born director Wim Wenders casted Jeanne Moreau in his $23 million motion picture, 'Until the End of the World'. Set in 1999, the movie was released in 1991 and filmed in 15 cities around 4 continents (from France to Portugal, Germany, Russia, China, Japan, the U.S. to the Australian outback). Eugene (played by Sam Neill) said in the movie, "In the beginning was the word. What would happen if only the image remained in the end!?"

Charles de Gaulle crafted the constitution for the Fifth Republic which relied on parliamentary rule (majority-rule Parliament instead of proportional representation) and granted "remarkably broad executive powers to the president" unlike the U.S. presidential system with 3 co-equal branches designed to check and balance each other. In the National Assembly, the French lower house of Parliament, there were 577 seats and since 2011, there were 348 seats in the Senate.

From 1958 to 1962,  the New Wave emerged in the French film industry. Jeanne Moreau told the 'New York Times' in 1989, "The New Wave was an expression of what was going on in that period, but I lived everything from a distance inside the cinema. At 30 I didn't give a damn about what was going on in the world. My only concern was me, the way I was going to work and meet these extraordinary people.

''In 1965, I found the pressure of 'You must do this for me,' 'You must get that amount of money,' 'You mustn't do this one' unbearable. I couldn't stand it. I was too aware of the system. In fact, it was a very healthy reaction because I cut loose of the star system and began to lead a different life. Some people are addicts. If they don't act, then they don't exist. I had to check to see if I was an addict. Well, I know now that if something happened, I could make a decision to do something totally different. I can live without acting.''

"I work more now (age 61 in 1989) because at this time of my life I am not disturbed from my aim by outside pressures such as family, passionate relationships, dealing with who am I?" Jeanne Moreau told Richard Morais in an interview at the Theatre National de l'Odeon in Paris. "I have no doubt who I am. Usually when a woman is 60, it's over. But now it begins again.

"During rehearsals I am confronted by things very mysterious. I have terrific fights with inner demons, and it's more painful than it ever was. It's like a trip when you make a film. Some actors need to know why. But why not? You prepare your costume as if you're packing. The intensity comes bit by bit, like a puzzle. Part of the excitement is to discover a role by oneself. Sometimes we have these very special qualities, as though we were psychic. Through a small detail we go directly to the point.''

Blog Archive