French actress Simone Simon, who died of natural causes at the age of 93 on Tuesday, is being memorialized today across print and web. Though Simon had a long and varied career in both Europe and America, working with directors the likes of Max Ophuls, Jean Renoir, and William Dieterle, the obits I've come across (including entries in the New York Times and the Guardian UK) are overwhelmingly Cat People-centric. I'm not the only one a bit miffed over Simon's short-shrift: as Cinecultist rightly points out, there was much more to Simon's filmography than Jacques Tourner's deliciously campy horror flick:
We know its super film geeky to get upset about this sort of over sight. Really, it could happen to any writer not abreast in Jonathan Rosenbaum's 1000 Essential Films or familiar with the collected reviews of François Truffaut. But a masters in cinema studies does this to you – that needling feeling when you read about something film history related and you're pretty sure there's some essential factoid missing. It's like a mental vegetable fiber caught between two molars. A bit of poking around on the internet yields the information that was on the tip of your brain and then there's the realization you knew something that a New York Times writer plus their fact checking team didn't know. It's a heady emotion. Sure, it's a schoolyard "nyah-nyah" feeling but a powerful one nonetheless.
Regardless of what "could happen to any writer", this is becoming a personal pet peeve of mine - too often the death
of a lesser-known star willl occasion "tributes" that read like an IMDB page run
through Thesaurus.com. Sure, not every writer is as "film geeky" as we are- but that doesn't mean they're allowed to
get away with lazy journalism.
What do you think?