The Blue History
La Vie D'Adèle became the biggest talked about film at Cannes. For better and for worse, one of the reasons why was because the presented coming of age story takes sexuality and the intimacy between the protagonists quite explicitly. One way the film was being described was as erotic. Obviously, with such words, the actual praise about the art form and the story fell to second place. And it was really a fine universal praise. The film was often described as moving and honest. The protagonists of the story, the actresses, they weren't expecting the film cut presented at Cannes but they came to embrace it. So for one reason, the film was being highly popular for being sexually revealing and the other reason for being also extremely good and outstanding.
It quickly became the critics' favorite, in a not so competitive and inspiring year, winning the FIPRESCI Award and becoming the favorite for the Palme D'Or. At the same time, people were skeptical for instance because of the President of the Jury, Steven Spielberg. Apparently, it didn’t matter.
At this point, here’s the reason why I said for better and for worse. A couple of articles, especially the ones by women, start to emerge, questioning the film and its legitimacy, especially on the sexuality and its inappropriateness. It is also questioned the legitimacy of the director's point of view of representing this feminist story. The actress' youth was also part of the trouble. The Porno aspect was also the topic of many articles.
After all this being said, a film about a love story between two young women, I didn't believe in its chances, but it won. So on May the 26, the 66th edition of Cannes Film Festival became this exceptional moment when the Jury, for the first time in sixty six years, in the world's most excruciatingly formal and by the rules festival, called three artists to receive the Palme D'Or. "Adèle, Léa and Abdellatif" - The director and the leading actresses. With this exclusivity, it marked only the second time a woman, in this case two, took the Palme D'Or. In sixty six years. So yes, it is about appreciating the moment and how sweet it sounds.
The enthusiasm was enormous. By the end of the week, I huge spur occurred with articles and letters being spread all over the internet about La Vie D'Adèle/Blue is the Warmest Color's legitimacy, the women's issues, the gay issues, about sex and porn. To the point the author of the original material, Julie Maroh, released her own statement about the film, but there was also controversy about the production and the shooting process.
I think the film conversation/controversy may get to a point where people will end up saying, "This is just a movie", which by then, where would the arguments be?
The idea that a male filmmaker isn't credible to deliver a love story between two women is one of the biggest questions asked. Should I say that there would be a lot of female and male directors whom would never have directed the stories they did? Should I say it comes to a man's and a woman's perspective of the world and that we won't ever be in a reasonably state of common share? Or is it too god damn universal and general?
I didn’t really know what to say, and I was afraid to discuss it, especially because I had not seen the film yet.
About the adaptation, I thought - sometimes the author gets quite involved, even writing the script, script supervisors, etc. Sometimes they're not involved at all (of course, many of them are dead.) Julie Maroh's take on the film is probably as legit as mine, no? With some nuances in the middle, but really it's pretty much the same. *It turns out she was quite right, with an accurate and legit take.
Waiting for La Vie D'Adèle in the meantime...
There are possibly a couple of good perspectives for that major spur and the subsequent Blue talk. For one, many people, if not the majority, haven't seen the film yet. And they really want to. I don't know the other one, because we are now entering the film fest circuit of the fall and the consequent criticism and discussion and boy it is going to be interesting.
Until it becomes unstoppable, I wished we were in a time where those questions of something like the fact that male critics are the majority of the group, no matter how legit this one is, especially because if the story was about two men, then would the impact be the same? Even though the quality is what matters? The sexism, the masculinity, the male predominance.
I know it is an apocalyptic and slow issue. You know, in this year's Cannes, Jerry Lewis said women couldn't be funny and Polanski was still mad at the pill. Actuality, when I read this, I didn't really had a reaction. Or better, I was confused. Had I suddenly jumped in time and/or being a joke of some sort? So if you can still hear these remarks in the biggest film festival in the world, with the so called established and humanist artists, then imagine in the streets of your town. Is it too much to ask people to open their minds?
We all know once a film gets released it takes a story of its own, with no control from any parts. I was the first one to say that the film would hopefully raise discussion. Well, if I don't get what I wish for. Blue became controversial from the moment it was presented in those early morning screenings at Cannes and by the end of the week it became something else. The way one deals with all this is is of their concern, right? Personally I've been inconsolable, insatiable and waiting. Films "historic" like this one don't come along every day, and I'm looking forward to be a part of it.
The film starts rounding the circuits in no time, like many others, but in the case of Blue it is everywhere. From Telluride to Toronto, NY Film Fest, and other fests over Europe.