By the time Blue Is the Warmest Color won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival last May, the three-hour French lesbian coming-of-age drama, with its deliriously explicit and extended sex scenes, was mired in controversy. But not because of the usual conservative fuddy-duddies (the ratings board, the Catholic Church). The movie was under siege from more progressive forces, including the author of the graphic novel on which it was based. I always expected the controversy to follow Blue Is the Warmest Color to America. Yet now that the film is finally set to open (this Friday), I was shocked to see the debate spill over into an open war between the film’s director, Abdellatif Kechiche, and his two lead actresses, Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux, all of whom had been in seeming solidarity just a few months earlier. Clearly, this is a movie not just to watch but to fight about. In that spirit, I thought I’d rerun my original post on the controversy, which first appeared on June 8. Here it is, just as it ran then: READ FULL STORY
Tag: Abdellatif Kechiche (1-2 of 2)
There’s something almost reassuring about the fact that in 2013, a movie sex scene could still be controversial. This time, however, the controversy isn’t coming from the forces of conservatism — from a clampdown by the ratings board or from family newspapers that don’t want to advertise a film they deem indecent. This time, the clampdown comes from the forces of the liberal-left. (That’s very 2013.) When Blue Is the Warmest Color played last month at the Cannes Film Festival, the three-hour French lesbian drama, with its lengthy and explicit scenes of bedroom intimacy, received a mostly rapturous response. There were instant cries that the movie would win the Palme d’Or, and it did. But there were also murmurs of discontent. In The New York Times, Manohla Dargis wrote a dissenting view, arguing that the film raised troubling issues about the depiction of female sexuality on screen; she said that the film’s explicitness wasn’t so much artful as it was a case of pandering to the male gaze. READ FULL STORY
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