An outfit with a retro touch was the natural complement to this superb Lancaster en-suite. With such a setting, it seemed like the ideal occasion to discuss the movie Laura.
Laura is one of Otto Preminger’s films noirs, produced in 1944, which stars Gene Tierney in all her soft seductiveness.
In typical film noir fashion, detective McPherson is investigating the death of a brilliant, gorgeous woman who was killed by a buckshot in the head in her own apartment, and encounters all the men who were involved in Laura’s life, from Waldo, the journalist who launched her advertising career, to Shelby, the man she intended to marry.
Inevitably, McPherson ends up falling in love with the deceased woman and completes the love triangle scenario.
But is Laura really dead?
Laura is undeniably a film noir, yet it plays with the latter’s codes.
Laura, for instance, has nothing to do with the archetypal dangerous femme fatale: on the contrary she is luminous, truly good and, although she makes some men unhappy, it is neither her will or her fault, she simply does not reciprocate their feelings. She is an independent woman, who makes her own decisions, which becomes even more apparent once she overtakes her Pygmalion, Waldo.
Likewise, there are no crazy chases or endless gunshots. The main focus is not on the police intrigue but on the psychological aspect, which is exacerbated by the closed-doors setting. The movie is a complex depiction of several characters, whose pictures are often marred by jealousy, envy and hatred. Laura’s light shines even brighter amongst them.
Laura is an atmospheric movie, filled with flashbacks and an of-voice straight from the grave. It reconciles the antagonisms that are dusk and dawn, darkness and light.
It is a dreamlike, chiaroscuro production, which pulls both the audience and McPherson into a delicious obsession provoked by Laura.
Gene Tierney is the epitome of beauty, elegance, delicacy and sensitivity, and though I am in no way suggesting a resemblance, the atmosphere of this photoshoot reminded me of this movie I loved so much when I was younger.
Dior dress and belt – Stella Luna heels – Dior clutch – Lancaster Hotel