Posts Tagged ‘Blue is the Warmest Color’

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This very French take on young love comes in at over three hours in length. The director was intransigent in his perfectionism and this is how he demanded the film be. At the end of the running, we learned that it was supposed to be divided into two chapters, but I don’t recall any actual chapter break / intermission on the DVD.

It’s probably best to break it after the first 90 minutes or so. The scenes are well acted and often very good, natural, but so many of them wouldn’t have made the cut in Hollywood. American audiences may not be so patient.

The film, of course, has extended raw sex scenes between the two girls. They may have ran a bit too long, but then so did the rest of the movie, and so proportionally they make sense.

 

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It’s a very recognizable coming of age story with a likeable French girl Adele, a kindergarten teacher, who doesn’t really fit into the eccentric art world of Emma, the blue-haired seductress. They make a go of it, hiding their relationship as needed, but human weakness and temptation throw their ship toward the rocks.

The style is claustrophobic, nearly every shot a close-up of Adele. It’s always right up against her cheek, and we see every side of her imaginable. The production ran way long, snatching up footage for months after the initial production schedule had expired. This was a very good idea, something Kubrick would do. Time is the crucial ingredient that allowed film to progress beyond the mundane, beyond the script and the production schedules that seek to limit the possibities.

Neither actress would ever work with director Kechiche again. The film, though, won the Palme d’Or and launched their careers in a way they could never have hoped for. We don’t see such raw, powerful performances very often. So credit is due.

4/5

 

 

 

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It’s been no secret that the actresses and the director had a falling out after a torturous extended shoot.  Then, they suddenly won Cannes, and now they are global news.

Kechiche chalks it up to a problem between the two actresses, and the way they open up to the scenes.  Adele is good on the first take, always giving 100%, but Lea takes many takes to loosen up and inhabit the role, according to Kechiche anyway.  This makes for many attempts to achieve one or a couple good performances of the two together.  It’s an oil and water kind of chemistry, and it seems to have paid off with major awards and recognition.

Blue is the Warmest Color releases on DVD Feb. 11th.

 

defaultLéa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos

This is the stuff that will keep em flocking to Hollywood, looking for stardom.

It got the NC-17:

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Blue is the Warmest Color’ Stirs Up Feminist Controversy
Julie Maroh wrote the graphic novel that was adapted into the film…

“Because — except for a few passages — this is all that it brings to my mind: a brutal and surgical display, exuberant and cold, of so-called lesbian sex, which turned into porn, and me feel very ill at ease. Especially when, in the middle of a movie theater, everyone was giggling. The heteronormative laughed because they don’t understand it and find the scene ridiculous. The gay and queer people laughed because it’s not convincing, and found it ridiculous. And among the only people we didn’t hear giggling were the potential guys too busy feasting their eyes on an incarnation of their fantasies on screen.”

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Also film crew complains of being cheated out of overtime pay during the production.