Budding of Brie (1980)

April 16, 2013 by adamsunderground

Stock photo of Annette Haven. Image by scalphunterfire, via Photobucket

While technically a hardcore film, The Budding of Brie only uses fleeting glimpses of sex as details in support of the plot, which is derived straight from the Hollywood classic All About Eve.

The story takes priority over all other concerns. Brie, the innocent looking waif, surprises all who underestimate her enormous ambitions and minuscule scruples. To ensure her fame, she uses nearly every possible method to cajole or manipulate others, short of physical violence. Moving fast and never once stalling, the plot covers a great deal of Brie’s journey in scratching her way to the top of the movie star heap.

With its widespread use of visual storytelling techniques, Brie’s plot swiftly advances with an economy of energy through the use of omniscient narration, visual composition, voice-over dialogue, and manipulated time. It is a surprisingly good example of tight, lean film making. For example, the story immediately tantalizes the audience with the critic’s opening narration of his inner thoughts about Brie’s lurid and devious rise to fame. Later, the montage of her working in Diana’s apartment deftly carries the audience through the more mundane details of Brie’s diligent study of her patron’s weaknesses, with the older diva completely underestimating the threat her underling could pose.


Set in the early ’50s and shot mostly on location, the movie successfully recreates the former era on screen. Throughout the feature, the lighting complements each shot location, using shadows to draw the eye to the foreground and conveying a natural feel. Only the night club looks like a studio set, with its bird’s eye views and precise use of lighting, creating a spatial composition the audience can instantly understand. At its bar, a beautiful contrast of color temperature in lighting illuminates the close ups of Brie and Sabrina’s faces, capturing their separate expressions of yearning for the club’s musicians. Cold and calculating, Brie’s flirting with the Jazz players sparks a competitive fire within the uncontrollably passionate Sabrina.

Most of the film’s sexual depictions, at times almost afterthoughts, are so fleeting they could be edited for a lower rating by trimming a few seconds from each. Many of the existing shots, close ups of the actors’ faces in reaction and partially clothed wide angle shots, would not exceed an R-rating alone.

The audio loses its way several times during locations shot with crowds of extras, unable to follow with pace and direction of the visuals. Most noticeably, actors’ dialogue is tangled with background sound in the nightclub but also inside both the restaurant and Diana’s party. Spoken in voice over, the nightclub musicians’ dialogue is horribly written and delivered, a mistake that could have been easily corrected in the film’s post production.

A well designed and fashioned movie, The Budding of Brie offers couples several appealing aspects of taunt storytelling all mixed with natural beauty and naked ambition, without much raunch.

Total Grade: A

Specialty Grade


Screenplay A


Acting B


Cinematography B
applications-multimedia Film Editing B


Visual Effects B


Audio C


Sound Editing C


Audio Effects B


Musical Score B


Production Design A

Click page 2 below for “The Morning after” The Budding of Brie


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