Darling

Film - Feature | October 19 | 5 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

“What are you ashamed of in Britain today?” asks tweedy TV commentator Dirk Bogarde, interviewing the average man-on-the-street. Well, for starters . . . John Schlesinger’s bitter, stylish answer is framed as the autobiography of Diana (Julie Christie), a media darling telling/selling “My Story” to Ideal Woman magazine. Her blandly self-justifying narration is undercut by the images as she leaves an unglamorous marriage for liaisons with Bogarde, representative of a BBC-bookish world; oily adman Laurence Harvey; and finally an Italian principe, with stops along the way for hypocritical upper-crust fundraisers, exploitation films, Parisian art parties, an abortion, and a spot of shoplifting at Fortnum & Mason’s. Tracing Diana’s progress from lowly bra model to “Happiness Girl” to the ultimate emptiness as Princess Diana, Schlesinger offers a critique of a striving consumer society in the form of a critique of a woman. Bogarde, in summary: “You’re a whore, baby.”

 CA, bampfapress@berkeley.edu, 5106420808