Posted in: Bernardo Bertolucci, by Richard T. Jameson, Contributors, Directors, Film Reviews

Chained for life: Bertolucci regrets rien in ‘The Dreamers’

[Originally written for Queen Anne/Magnolia News, 2004]

There is a moment in Bernardo Bertolucci’s Before the Revolution when the protagonist, the scion of an Italian noble family, learns that a friend has taken his own life. He had been speaking with the young man only hours before and declined his fervent proposal that they go again to see Howard Hawks’s Red River. Bertolucci cranes up and backs off from his hero; then his camera pivots on the young man’s figure, slowly describing 90 degrees of arc around him as he looks out at a changed world.

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Posted in: by Sean Axmaker, Contributors, Film Reviews

Film Review: ‘Saint Laurent’

Gaspard Ulliel

You get only fleeting views of Yves Saint Laurent (Gaspard Ulliel) sketching designs and perfecting his fashions on his models—no mannequins in his house, only living bodies—in Bertrand Bonello’s biopic. In fact, most of the familiar beats are either trimmed or completely snipped out of this languorous, luxurious film.

Bonello focuses on just a few years of Saint Laurent’s life: 1967 through 1975, the height of his success and influence in the fashion world. There’s no backstory, no rising through the ranks, no breakthrough moment where he comes into his own. He’s already running his own fashion house when we jump into his life.

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Posted in: by Robert Horton, Contributors, Film Reviews

Film Review: ‘Jealousy’

Olga Milshtein, Louis Garrel, and Anna Mouglalis

In the opening scene of Jealousy, a relationship comes to an end. Shaggy-haired actor Louis (Louis Garrel) is leaving his girlfriend Clothilde (Rebecca Convenant) as their young daughter Charlotte looks on. The moment isn’t hugely original, or even especially dramatic. It’s a thing that has to happen, and everyone knows it, and each person’s reaction is honored. Then we move on—but everything that happens after depends on this sequence. Louis goes to live with his new lover Claudia (Anna Mouglalis, the Chanel from the dreary Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky), herself an actress, albeit one who mysteriously hasn’t worked in six years. The design of veteran director Philippe Garrel (Louis is his son) takes all of this situation’s developments in stride—sometimes literally, as he likes walking scenes—as though observation, not manipulation, is his primary interest.

It lacks the clocklike inner workings of movies devoted to storytelling, but Jealousy does a lot of things right.

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