Madame Tussaud

‘THOSE DISTINGUISHED CHARACTERS’

Some years ago I wrote a short life of the waxworker par excellence, Madame Marie Tussaud, for children. Mme Tussaud lived through, and profited from, the French Revolution, having previously, she claimed, served members of the French Royal Family at Versailles. She became a leading promoter of spectacle and entertainment in the French capital, then emigrated to London where she established her famous wax museum. As well as being a successful female entrepreneur, a businesswoman before such a concept really existed, Tussaud was a pioneer of what we might call in modern parlance the ‘commodification of celebrity’.

Now, at long last, this complex and elusive character – or characters, given her capacity for embellishment and reinvention – has been celebrated, and some at least of the complexities and contradictions in her story unravelled, in a full-length documentary treatment by French director Nina Barbier.

The TV film, in French, is here:

http://www.arte.tv/guide/fr/064268-000-A/l-etonnante-histoire-de-mme-tussaud-et-de-ses-theatres-de-cire

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s