Montag, 10. Februar 2014
Berlinale: Yves Saint Laurent / Thou Wast Mild & Lovely
The biopic "Yves Saint Laurent" suffers from an inadequate script and less-than-inspired direction by Jalil Lespert, ending up with a film chronicling the rise to fame, relationships, escapades and life in excess of the legendary French fashion designer that's rigidly episodic and insipid in its telling. The production design and- of course- the clothes are fabulous as can be expected but the cinematography is a tad on the drab side, denying all that retro chic an extra radiance that would have probably livend things up a bit. That said, the story of such an iconic figure has its inherent hook, and young actor Pierre Niney's performance as the master of beauty is transcendant despite the lack of rich material available to him. Through those feline features, constantly shifting expressions and slowing evolving mannerisms, he communicates the curiosity, insecurity, desire, depression and the creative burn of a man exhausted by his own genius and it's all mesmerizing. As the life partner of YSL, Pierre Bergé, Guillaume Gallienne is also brilliant, matching every bit of neediness of his counterpart with steadfast composure and adoring calm. Between the two of them it's quite the acting ping pong to behold.
"Thou Wast Mild & Lovely", an erotic horror story set in rural Kentucky, is a highly experimental piece of filmmaking with numerous hallucinatory sequences and random shots of farm animals, grass, distant land, empty sky, etc. It's the kind of movie where characters say completely irrelevant things in response to others' questions or don't even get to answer at all before the camera finds its interest in the next cow. One could definitely call this subjective, immersive cinema as its deeply fragmented structure clings to the erratic workings of the mind and its lensing, by turns crisp and foggy but always trembling with some hidden knowledge, puts you firmly inside a most volatile dreamscape. The description might sound pretty impressive but when a movie consists solely of contextual chaos, dizzying movements and a predominantly improvisational violin solo that just drills and drills...it's also the very embodiment of a headache. Writer/director Josephine Decker seeks to disturb via the cryptic and proves she has a voice with this oddity, but the way she goes about it is still far from mature, so while comparisons to Lynch are understandable, they're not shared by this viewer.