Thursday, February 11, 2016
JEFF OF THE CINEFILES & UNFINISHED BUSINESS: HALL OF FAME: FILE #0044: BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR (2013)
Directed By: Abdellatif Kechiche
Written By: Abdellatif Kechiche & Ghalia Lacroix
Adapted from: the comic book "Le Bleu est une couleur chaude" by: Julie Maroh Cinematography By: Sofian El Fani
Editor: Sophie Brunet, Ghalia Lacroix, Albertine Lastera, Jean-Marie Lengelle & Camille Toubkis
Cast: Lea Seydoux, Adele Exarchopoulus, Salim Kechiouche, Aurellen Recoing, Catherine Salee, Benjamin Siksou, Alma Jodorosky
*Please note that some trivia and facts have been republished from imdb among other sources In this review
Adèle is a high school student who is beginning to explore herself as a woman. She dates men but finds no satisfaction with them sexually, and is rejected by a female friend who she does desire. She dreams of something more. She meets Emma who is a free spirited girl whom Adèle's friends reject due to her sexuality, and by association most begin to reject Adèle. Her relationship with Emma grows into more than just friends as she is the only person with whom she can express herself openly. Together, Adèle and Emma explore social acceptance, sexuality, and the emotional spectrum of their maturing relationship --The original French title also has a subtitle, "Chapters 1 and 2". Abdellatif Kechiche explained in interviews that he might continue telling Adèle's story in future films, and added the subtitle as a result.
Initially planned to be shot in two months, the film took nearly five-and-a-half months.
The actresses only read the script once. Abdellatif Kechiche insisted that they forget what the script said line for line, and instead asked them to improvise their scenes and really let their actions and words come out naturally and as unforced as possible.
Other than being a good movie. This is the latest foreign movie (usually Asian, French or Spanish) that has left me with a crush on a silver screen siren. My heart feeling exposed under the packaging and flickering lights as I sit wide-eyed. Do you ever get too old for silver screen crushes. Not only on the people, but on actual films?
Is the film Indulgent yes and yes you feel it, but you don't mind as it lets you spend more time with the characters and hang around their lives and world. Observe and take in. It's like on a phone call or when you are with someone you enjoy and though you have said good bye a few times you keep finding things to talk about to prolong the departing. You can leave at any time in those moments, but you notice you both won't let each other go. You can never admit your attraction maybe, but both know here is something there.
My problem with foreign films sometimes is, That i can't really judge the strength of the performance as I read subtitles and check the action out at the same time. It wouldn't be right for me to critically judge one. I can say though it doesn't matter as if a film especially a foreign one is truly good. I find myself enraptured either way. Though I love foreign films as they tend to be more emotionally ambitious and experimental. As it seems most American movies are represented by blockbusters and all about the over abundance of action and special effects are how foreign films are with intimacy, action and emotions. American films get it right but it is far fewer it seems then the foreign ones at times. At least for me.
Foreign film heroines tend to make me weak other than being exotic to my eyes and sensibilities. As they are the main characters we spend so much time with characters you feel close to them. Like you know them, seeing them unguarded In private moments. though it is through a film, you feel a closeness as a witness. You want to protect them and be with them as they are molded into your ideal. Yet must remember they are created not real and that the actor is just an avatar after all.
A perfect escape for a the romantics, in a reality that one can only hope to witness or be a part of, you can escape to the realm of custom made fantasy, romance with hardships that seem great and have happy endings. As you have an overview with rarely delivered private moments.
I swallowed the kool-aid and got swept up in this film and not for some of the more obvious reasons.
You go through So many emotions and feelings. Which are brought up while watching This film
A young woman coming into her sexuality and a love story that happens to be of the same sex. Yet so vividly true, in it's emotions and feeling. No matter what gender. While the film and the relationship is breathtaking. At times you feel wrong watching it as you feel like you are eavesdropping. More observing everything.
Not a tale of first love, but maybe true love that defines all others in your life. More experience prepares you not to fall and drown certain feelings to a degree.
The film never feels like it offers a false step. It feels like a personal experience rather than just a movie. the format might be what helps empathize the emotions it doesn't feel larger than life. Though like a guerrilla documentary you are right there in the mix. Constantly in the actors faces. As they are constantly in close up. So that the camera and thus the audience are always connected to the characters.
The film has an unrushed feel that has a long running time that with other films can feel endless, with this film you never notice it also has a sincerity. That it feels like Director Sofia Coopola Tries for in her own movies as she tends to strive for and at times achieves in her own right. A certain performed reality. That comes close to making us feel like a fly on the wall of things that really happened, Though never as literally naked as this film.
Any film that has accolades or experiments lends itself to it in a way will always be accused of being pretentious though here. It is needed to call attention to itself. To match the intense feelings involved while making it all seem natural and unassuming.
The film also has a bunch of scenes that have long takes throughout. That while probably practiced. Here feel natural and fresh.
The film audaciously begins with the early scenes of the teens talking reeks of a limited logic and built up deepness of paranoia. Tapping into the emotions buried under what seems to be life, but seems more like socializing and the art of it to a degree. Suffering while passing time. aging a character for your friends to lie or find interest with you.
Adele Exarchopoulus reminds me of Kristen Stewart only more expressive and emotional. think a gentler looking Kristen Stewart. Plus he good mood she gives off at times. You can see her emotions stretched across her face. Rather than her telling them. She is more the lead character or protagonist of the film as Though more or less this is her journey as we are usually by her side throughout the film. Also she is in every scene
Her character seems to ruin anything that gets serious. not gay not straight, just wanting attention. Just as in life we might believe we are Not sure what we want because we don't know who we are. Who we think you are and let others define us. Be yourself want to bring about change talk about all the things you want or are going to do. What's stopping you from doing them, other then you stop blaming them and others making excuses.
Once Adele encounters Lea Seydoux The blue hair make you notice her initially and sets her apart and the swagger is remarkable, special and individual.
A good portion of the B-roll footage with Adèle Exarchopoulos that ended up being used are in fact of the actress when she was out of character. The camera would be on her when she ate and even when she slept on the train while they were on their way to set. Since during this footage people kept calling Exarchopoulos by her first name instead of Clementine (the original name from the graphic novel), they agreed to have the main character's name changed to Adèle.
Lea Seydoux her pale naked body is almost a canvas itself . while she is the more animated of the two and has swagger plus charm of being the bar girl. She always has a tough shell yet a quick smile. That once you finally see her naked, it is a gentle reminder that underneath it all she is Femanine, sensitive and fragile. As well as seductive. Through has her wide eyes , yet hard face that refuses to betray what she is actually feeling.
Like a novel, (Which it is based on) this film is so detailed and enriching as it goes along. you are transported into that world with the characters and can just breathe, smell and live, as it doesn't feel like there is any agenda at hand. There is no sense that every character is desirable. Even though they are quite attractive. No sense that the blossoming Character of Adele is just flirting with a lifestyle or going through a phase until she meets the right one or at least the right male. Nor does it make any of the men despicable and use that as an excuse for her sudden attraction to women. It's an honest connection and desire. I takes as long as it needs I get where it needs to go. Even if it is based on a graphic novel. Which o have never read. It still feels like it has it's own identity.
The film captures, That jealousy when attention seems to dissolve from you. That jealousy of then having a new friend and afraid what could happen. After all you were once a new friend that grew on them into a relationship. Trying to be careful as you Try to guess what the friends of your partner. you never met have been told and to hopefully fulfill your standing as a puzzle piece for their expectations.
The jealousy, that easily enters and takes up residence like a squater that never leaves and ingratiates itself. as you try to get rid of it. Leaving it's evidence in it's belongings that still resides. It's not even a guilty pleasure but the devil on your shoulder, who you try to avoid looking at. Though catch a glimpse of now and again and those green eyes are so captivating, convincing and powerful. That before to know it your caught up in it's hands leading you down that abysmal path.
The stale stillness, the taken for granted Marie once the relationship becomes routine and thankless. When there seems to be no or little excitement, mystery, appreciation and compliments. When compliments are so foreign. That When strangers give them to you, It's flattering more than it should be. These same strangers seem to know all about you and are happy you fit the ideal version of yourself, yet you know nothing of these people judging you.
The differences come shining through when amongst either set of friends. Feeling out of place and wondering how you share a connection. As you are left out of old jokes and stories they tell add it seems like a hassle or chore for them to explain it to you.
In a relationship, at times it seems you have to give up or sacrifice something even as it seems part of your identity or Friends. All of this is manages to be translated in one party scene. Though it also, illustrates her desire and to help support her love.
The film doesn't shy away from showing the Displays and breakdown of heartbreak.
Including still being obsessed with that person. As all that time had to mean something and as they broke up with you. It was unexpected so while they have had time to build up a resistance and dealing with the fact of losing you voluntarily. You still have the same feelings you always did and now you are supposed to deal with it and the rejection. So you might find yourself parked outside their job with some Radiohead playing and a half eaten bag of Fritos and some Doritos that you don't remember purchasing along with that big gulp. To convince them to give you another chance.
How some of us Lower ourselves with gifts of Desperation to get noticed. As that attention comes across as feelings and care. Everyone talks about the lengthy real time sex scene, what about the 20 minute introductory conversation shot between the two leads? Now that is all about magic and synchronicity in cinema and life.
Watching the love scenes bright me back to memories of watching sexually explicit love scenes in a crowded theater for MULLHOLLAND DRIVE. Not sure to engage and watch directly. Decided to Gage the rest of the audience to see their reactions.
The Intercut sex scenes bring a brashness to the already emotionally brutal film. The sex scenes offer no apologies into their graphic-ness though they also arouse and inspire an intimate quality.
The sex scenes, As they keep happening, are not so much about sex, but more about the intensity of the intimacy and the pleasure introduced to one another and maintained throughout the shared experience. Finding the romance in the action by strictly focusing on faces. pinpointing specifically what to show
The film manages to have so many shots that could easily double as still photos or visuals, that are natural and through a non intrusive passage of time, explain all the information and background that we can figure out eventually.
The eventual betrayal is treated as matter of fact but not graphic. It's more shocking for us in the audience how brazen and simple she seems To throw her relationship into danger. How easily it happens and leads to bad decisions. That It seems more of an experiment to feel something different in her life. That seems To be stalled or too predictable. Though at least certain beliefs, traits and actions seem to repeat themselves. Proves a characters identity, not just what is written in the page.
The film explores they feeling of how at times, Fading into the background more and more went from a supporting character to occasional guest star to cameos almost disappearing. In the relationship. Maybe it's time to star in your own series spin-off. Be the lead it the supporting actor or writer or producer
Discovering your own definition. Make that definition known and DONE mean things to those around you. limited sense of the world. Each scene seems to reveal seems to reveal and move the story forward as well as the defining he characters and while they are at emotionally.
The director Abdellatif Kechiche seems to love to make the actresses cry and showcase their snot to go with the no glamorous outlook the film portrays. Though everything and everyone is shot so beautifully.
According to Abdellatif Kechiche, he had originally agreed, in writing, to deliver a 2-hour film. He subsequently showed the producers two different cuts of the film, and all parties agreed that the longer version was better.
It's a little disappointing to hear the actresses talk about how hard it was to make the film uncomfortable. How they felt the director was inappropriate and exploitive as he gets so much amazing performances, that break the language barrier and is understandable to almost all have experienced feelings. Both have pledged to never work with the director ever again.
There was controversy surrounding Abdellatif Kechiche and his work methods. It was revealed that he would do hundreds of takes for small scenes to achieve the desired realism of the story. Both actresses stated that the film looks so real because Kechiche pushed them to their breaking point, and that they were really struggling.
The book's author Julie Maroh was very supportive of the film's production and praised Abdellatif Kechiche with his originality; however, she wasn't pleased with the sex scenes and felt that they failed to capture the lesbian heart of the story.
The film seems to promote the idea of Define yourself by your own definitions. Stop leaving it upon others to do for you. Then you have to love your life by the title or expectations that you had no choice in. Only you can live your own life. You are the one who gives it authenticity. You decide your own self worth.
It's a film filled with real moments, that we all strive to experience and puts it on the screen.