Despite a rather disastrous start to her movie career, Jean Seberg created one incredible role that made her immortal as both an actress, an icon of cool and a style original. Her role as Patricia in the New Wave Classic Breathless (1960) totally reinvented her after the catastrophe of her debut role in Otto Preminger’s Saint Joan, and she became a much loved icon of French Cinema. With her gamine crop, flat shoes and t-shirt, she looked fresh, modern and original. But in the late 1960s her life spiralled out of control when she became associated with the Black Panther movement back in America. This led to her being targeted by the FBI under J Edgar Hoover, who bugged her phones, had her followed, and spread untrue rumours about her, including one about her unborn child having a black father. When the child, a little girl, died at two days old, Jean had her buried in a clear coffin to prove she was white. She never recovered from this, and was found dead in her car in Paris in 1979, aged just 40, and judged a probable suicide. It is a tragic, horrific, and heart rending subject that is brought to life in the film Seberg.
The film is a visual feast for fashion fans. Set over the period of 1969-1970, the styling is late 60s chic at its finest. Kristen really suits the mini dresses with minimal detail, and there is real attention to detail in the beautiful pink evening dress that she wears to the premiere of Paint Your Wagon, which is very similar to an archive photo of Jean with Clint Eastwood, possibly at the same premiere. (you can see it here.)
The story of Jean Seberg is a modern day horror story, but one that certainly needs to be told. In Kristen Stewart, there is an actress who can truly do this justice.