Maybe not the warmest color.
June 6, 2013 9:34 PM   Subscribe

 
So... Has anyone seen it?
posted by mr_roboto at 9:44 PM on June 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hm, the film doesn't sound terribly different from many other so-called lesbian movies with straight actors, directors, etc. I can understand Maroh being disappointed though. On the other hand, I am now very keen to read her comic, whereas I don't care about the film.
posted by Athanassiel at 9:53 PM on June 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


So... Has anyone seen it?

Nope, but the scene in question is supposed to be quite intense:
What has everyone talking, though, are the intensely erotic, incredibly realistic, quite lengthy, and almost certainly unsimulated sex scenes between the beautiful, sensual Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux. [...]

I clocked the first sex scene between Adèle and Emma — replete with fingering, licking, and, as a friend called it, "impressive scissoring" — at an approximate ten minutes. Audience walkouts began around minute nine.
posted by lalex at 9:58 PM on June 6, 2013


Yeah, so obviously I haven't seen it, so I can't comment on the content itself, but just looking at the wikipedia page, I find two things interesting:

Running time: 179 minutes

Holy shit. Someone went and made a three-hour movie in 2013.

Blue Is the Warmest Colour[2][3] (French: La Vie d'Adèle - Chapitre 1 & 2 – "The Life of Adèle: Chapter 1 & 2"), is a 2013 French drama film
...
The film is based on the 2010 French graphic novel Blue Angel ("Le Bleu est une couleur chaude")

Interesting titling choices on the part of the filmmakers and their translators.
posted by mr_roboto at 10:04 PM on June 6, 2013


(I mean, the French title of the movie is just awful, isn't it?)
posted by mr_roboto at 10:09 PM on June 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


The French title of the film is "La Vie d'Adèle" - "The Life of Adele", which is a very boring title. The French title of the comic is "Le Bleu est une couleur chaude", or "Blue is a warm colour" (not the warmest as in the English title of the film). However the English title of the comic, "Blue Angel", I reckon is the worst of all. Not having read the comic, of course; for all I know it's chock full of angels and entirely appropriate, but just as a translation it's pretty dismal.
posted by Athanassiel at 10:20 PM on June 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


@mr. roboto: I know that Magnolia was also 2:59:59.999 because studios wouldn't release a three-hour film. If the film is well-made, the time flies. If it's not, it feels like three days.
posted by koavf at 10:22 PM on June 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Honestly why? I mean I wouldn't be offended by the gratuity so much as the fact that I can get porn any time I want. I mean it's like 99% of the Internet. I'm porned out. How about some acting?
posted by ishrinkmajeans at 10:30 PM on June 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Holy shit. Someone went and made a three-hour movie in 2013.

They do it in India all the time.

BTW, Blue is the Warmest Color wasn't even the longest movie in competition at Cannes this year. That'd be the new Lav Diaz flick, Norte, the End of History (okay, it was in Un Certain Regard, which isn't Main Competition but is still competitive and often full of better films than the Main). It's 250 min long, which is actually normal length by Diaz' standards.
posted by alexoscar at 10:42 PM on June 6, 2013


The NYT piece seems axe-grindily biased: e.g. "Mr. Kechiche did not respond to requests for comment. But in an interview with the Web site Flicks and Bits, he explained that his goal was to idealize the female body."... the interview q&a doesn't read that way to me.

I think the buried lede is in the last paragraph of Maroh's communique - that that is the key to what is really going on.

Not possible to conclude who is right without seeing the film, but Kechiche's description of the scene is so different from Maroh's - I mean, Kechiche's account can well be taken to indicate an awful high-art distortion and mangling of what could have been a naturalistic scene... but it doesn't seem to mesh with the aesthetic of mainstream porn?

And for Maroh, apparently the director and actresses are "straight until proven otherwise", while she can confidently identify who is straight or gay/queer in a movie audience? wtf
posted by Bwithh at 11:47 PM on June 6, 2013 [3 favorites]




Not so Maroh, who responded that the film's 179-minute long graphic lesbian sex scene

the perils of reading too quickly
posted by a birds at 12:25 AM on June 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


I'm kind of wondering if heterosexual sex scenes in movies are really any more realistic, not that it excuses this film's scenes. I mean, they're also generally about celebrating the beauty of the participants rather than realism, eh?
posted by maxwelton at 2:39 AM on June 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Critics raved. Not so Maroh. In the NYT: "There may be a personal reason she reacted so negatively to the film"

She says "C’est un coup de maître." How is that not raving?

And "oui, La vie d’Adèle est l’adaptation d’une bande dessinée, et il n’y a rien de mal à le dire." And "Quoi qu’il en soit je ne vois pas le film comme une trahison..."

And "Cette conclusion cannoise est évidemment magnifique, à couper le souffle"

This whole post and the NYT piece are making a fuss where doesn't seem to be any. Am I misreading or does Maroh seem to be pretty pleased with the outcome - in the sense that a new, celebrated work of art has come out of the seeds of her own work? That this has had an enormous repercussion in her artistic life? How amazed she is that one day she was writing a story, years later there's a Palme d'Or coming out of it?

NYT says: "Unlike the actresses, (the characters in the book) are far from classically beautiful." Maroh says "jusqu’aux physiques des acteurs et actrices, similaires à la bande dessinée."

She might be bitter (even though she says she isn't) about not being included in the celebrations but she herself stated she didn't want to part of the project. Tant pis.

As for finding the lesbian sex scene fake, I think she should look at it in a more positive way. Since straight sex scenes in movies are usually pretty silly too most of the time, it's another step for the "banalization of homosexuality" (as she champions it) and for equality in the mediocre portrayal of daily life.
posted by Marauding Ennui at 3:03 AM on June 7, 2013 [6 favorites]


*looks up from reading book of Sappho*

Yes, this phenomenon of mainstream hetronormative culture misreading feminine love as sexual desire is total new and has never been seen before. Julie Maroh could never have predicted what would have happened to her work.
posted by The River Ivel at 3:04 AM on June 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


ishrinkmajeans: Honestly why? I mean I wouldn't be offended by the gratuity so much as the fact that I can get porn any time I want. I mean it's like 99% of the Internet. I'm porned out. How about some acting?
And you know this because you've seen the film, so you know it's porny with poor acting? Honestly, how is Cannes? Overhyped? Or does it look remarkably like some uninformed opinion pulled out of your ass?
posted by IAmBroom at 3:09 AM on June 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


Am I misreading or does Maroh seem to be pretty pleased with the outcome

You're not misreading, she's very pleased.
posted by fraula at 4:52 AM on June 7, 2013


I read that as "the 179-minute long graphic lesbian sex scene" and thought "how long is the whole film? Because a 3 hour sex scene is, indeed, a bit much.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:25 AM on June 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Translated titles are always a chore. I am not sure there is any way to do it right and many many ways to do it wrong. I think that "Shimotsuma Monogatari" ("The Tale of Shimotsuma," Shimostuma being a crappy little town where our heroine has to daydream about a glamourous life) is much better than "Kamikaze Girls," which simultaneously manages to suggest a very different sort of film while indulging in a bit of irritating stereotyping. I has a longish discussion with Kattullus over the question of whether "Svartur á leik" was well-translated as "Black's Game," which suggests victory, as opposed to "Black's Move," which suggests an ongoing process. And don't get me started about the various translations of À la recherche du temps perdu and its various sections....
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:32 AM on June 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


I can't off-hand think of a non-porn movie sex scene lasting anywhere close to 10 minutes.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 6:48 AM on June 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Holy shit. Someone went and made a three-hour movie in 2013.
I know, right?!? I still haven't gotten over the fact that this had a sequel.
posted by Blue_Villain at 7:12 AM on June 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Honestly why? I mean I wouldn't be offended by the gratuity so much as the fact that I can get porn any time I want. I mean it's like 99% of the Internet. I'm porned out. How about some acting?

The scene in question is 10 minutes out of a three-hour movie. Plenty of time left over for "acting."

And what makes you think that what happens during said scene doesn't qualify as acting? The jury at Cannes (led by Steven Spielberg) sure seemed impressed, going so far as to award the Palme d'Or to the two actresses in question, as well as the director. (This decision has been described as "unprecedented" in Cannes history.)

Spielberg on the film: For me the film is a great love story that made all of feel like we were privileged to be flies on the wall, to be invited into this story of deep love and deep heartbreak. The director did not put any constraints on the narrative and we were absolutely spellbound by the amazing performances of the two actresses, and especially the way the director observed his characters and just let the characters breathe.
posted by Mothlight at 8:44 AM on June 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


Iambroom

Yes I think that most art house and Cannes films sort of suck these days. They follow common tropes that are different from mainstream film tropes but are no less banal. No I have not seen this movie. But the question isn't whether the film is good or not as a whole so much as if the sex scenes add anything. Would the film be better marginally if 10 minutes of porn weren't included? From my experience having viewed similar films the answer is most often yes.
Finally, I don't "pull opinions out of my ass" nor are they uninformed. While you may not agree with everything I say I always try and be as insightful and as contributive as I know how to be, relying on my imperfect subjective biew of my own personal experience often, where matters of taste force my hand, as we all must.
posted by ishrinkmajeans at 9:10 AM on June 7, 2013


And what makes you think that what happens during said scene doesn't qualify as acting?

I was watching Alice Wu's Saving Face -- a fun, rather light coming-out story about a Chinese-American woman and how her family drives her nuts. At one point, the film goes into a sex scene, and I though "well, OK, whatever," but Wu used some clever plotting to show character development and some of the underlying tensions that drive the final act of the show. Now, the scene was not 10 minutes long nor particularly graphic, but the actors sure seemed to be acting.
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:19 AM on June 7, 2013


Until I've seen this film I can't have an educated opinion here. So I will, reluctantly, force myself to watch this scene in the spirit of academic integrity.
posted by Justinian at 9:31 AM on June 7, 2013


ishrinkmajeans: No I have not seen this movie.
...
Finally, I don't "pull opinions out of my ass" nor are they uninformed.
I apologize. You pull opinions based on your stereotypes of what movies that play in "art houses and Cannes" are like.

That's still willfully ignorant and prejudiced, but different. Somehow.
posted by IAmBroom at 10:23 AM on June 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


I can't off-hand think of a non-porn movie sex scene lasting anywhere close to 10 minutes.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 6:48 AM on June 7
[+] [!]


Irreversible. The tunnel scene.
posted by gucci mane at 11:02 AM on June 7, 2013


Irreversible. The tunnel scene.

Except that was more a "horrific-violence scene" than a "sex scene."
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:23 AM on June 7, 2013


Irreversible. The tunnel scene.

Umm, whoa. That's not a sex scene.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:23 AM on June 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


The inside baseball subtext here may be that the NYT's reviewer, Manohla Dargis, was the most prominent of a small group of critics who were opposed to the movie because of the sex scenes, implying that the scenes were less an honest or necessary depiction of these characters, and more the (male) director's desire to depict a male fantasy. Some even believe the Palme d'Or award was a specific and intentional rebuke of Dargis:

So the Dargis-Schwarzbaum complaint about Blue (i.e., too male horn-toady) fell upon deaf ears. “Once Dargis put down Blue Is The Warmest Color in NY Times the jurors felt obligated to ignore her,” a filmmaker friend opines. “All have been her victims. And her review was a clear attempt to show her power, by [attempting to destroy] the momentum of the film.”

In this light, the NYT publishing a story that essentially reinforces its critic's controversial opinion seems somewhat less than coincidental.

Disclaimer: I personally offer no opinion, having not seen the movie.
posted by pardonyou? at 11:43 AM on June 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


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