One of my life goals is to attend the Cannes Film Festival.
As I’m sure you can tell, I am totally in awe of the cinematic art form. The moving image, for me, harnesses the heart-thumping, eye-watering emotions that can be found individually in both music and literature, but which can only be brought together in one climactic combination in film.
In my overly-dramatic, head-in-the clouds kind of way, I tend to think of the Cannes Film Festival as a magical land of Feeling. A land in which one’s perspective on life can change from one film to the next. A place where all your emotions are stretched to the edges of possibilty. A kind of gym for the heart and the head. (I could go on…)
However, having never been to the festival itself, this is pure speculation. Whilst I wait for the dream to become a reality, I content myself with reading up as much as possible on the key films in question.
This is one of the films I just can’t wait to see:
La Vie d’Adele (Blue is the Warmest Colour)
Blue Is the Warmest Colour won the Palme d’Or at Cannes (the highest prize awarded at the Cannes Film Festival, presented to the director of the best feature film of the official competition) and is, effectively, a love story between bourgeois-bohemian art student, Emma (Léa Seydoux), and middle class school girl Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos). However it would appear that many more topics and issues are explored within it. Jon Frosch of The Atlantic, describes the film as “a shattering masterpiece about sexual awakening, heartbreak, and self-discovery.” Sounds good, no? It is also typical of French-Tunisian director Kechiche, to direct a film which explores those who live in the margins of France (North African immigrants and their children, inner city youth, and, here, gays, lesbians, and bisexuals) Kechiche is said to take inspiration from Japanese director Yasujirô Ozu who equally favours the filmatic exploration of minority groups.
Blue Is the Warmest Colouris an adaptation of a graphic novel by Julie Maroh and after winning at Cannes, small Canadian publisher Arsenal Pulp Press had to race to get the English translation finished for September. Maroh herself was also not as excited about the film as her audience. In an interview with The Guardian, she berated the film for its lack of lesbian actors and described its sex scenes as being “brutal and surgical display[s], exuberant and cold, of so-called lesbian sex, which turned into porn, and [made] me feel very ill at ease.” Maroh also attacked Kechiche’s work, stating: “As a feminist and lesbian spectator, I cannot endorse the direction Kechiche took on these matters.” However, interestingly, she later added: “I’m also looking forward to what other women will think about it. This is simply my personal stance.”
As it turns out, director Kechiche, dedicated his Palme d’Or award to youth in both France and Tunisia, “so as to inspire them to live in freedom.”
Personally, I can’t wait to see this film and, as Maroh wishes, to draw my own conclusions of it. As well as having won the coveted Palme d’Or at Cannes, it is also the cinematic debut for actress Adèle Exarchopoulos who, according to critics, is set to become a star. Catch her in her first, thoroughly successful role in Blue Is the Warmest colour, set to be released in the UK this autumn.