The "Audrey Tautou of 1994," Julie Delpy was that French actress the art house crowd discussed in cafes before Isabelle Huppert starred in whatever-French-movie-they-allow-us-to-see in 1995. Delpy has consistently made films (she directs!), cut a record (she sings!), and has even made guest appearances on E.R. (she slums!). It is, however, her first films that sets my big gay heart aflutter. And I don't mean Killing Zoe.
¥ Europa, Europa (1990)--Finally an entertaining movie about WWII and the Holocaust! Solomon Perel (an adorable Marco Hofschneider) is a German Jew who is captured (by Germans) during Hitler's advance toward Russia. Convincing them he's ethnic German, he finagles work as their translator and, despite his raven tresses, is soon seen as the model Hitler Youth. His girlfriend (Delpy), though fooled at first, can only take the "uh, I left my foreskin back at the barrack" excuse so many times. And she's a blonde bloodthirsty Nazi!
¥ White (1994)--Sure, we've all fantasized about faking our deaths so that our ex in Paris will visit us in Warsaw--but we're not psychotic fucks. When Karol (Zbigniew Zamachowski) does it, however, it's okay; his ex-wife looks like Julie Delpy (and she's got it coming). Even as a shrew, Delpy inspires sympathy and fan letters. My favorite of the "Three Colors" trilogy, White (representing "equality" to the frogs) shows that, though revenge springs eternal, hope is sweet.
¥ Before Sunrise (1995) The My Dinner with Andre for the slacker-backpacker set, this film follows J.D. and Ethan Hawke meandering through CondeNast's Vienna from dusk 'til dawn. Hawke plays the goateed American Eurailpasshole who coaxes stranger-on-a-train Delpy off the train. A sequel--Before Sunset (co-written by Hawke and Delpy), due out this summer--chronicles their chance meeting nine (?) years later in (groan) Paris. Here's hoping she turns out to be a bloodthirsty Nazi! JIM BORTHWICK