May 29, 2011

L'amour Fou,

The new documentary about Yves Saint Laurent and his longtime companion, Pierre Berge, despite some fine moments, including some brilliant titles sequences and great original music (that seem to be variations on Chopin's Preludes) ultimately, falls flat.

"Hullo, my darlings.  Wait until you see what I have designed for you."
I was warned by the NYT that this would not be a "nuts and bolts" strict biographical documentary (and that there is a film about Saint Laurent that might interest me more in that regard) but I wanted to give it a chance, anyway.

The finest moments were the "Bridal March" sequence which shows off many of Saint Laurent's bridal gowns from his collections, which were edited in this film to alternatively show his crazy haute couture creations followed by his smart, stunningly chic, lovely bridal gowns and then the start of the film which is a black and white version of Saint Laurent's retirement press conference.  I must say, I have never seen a more eloquent, erudite, tasteful, and lovely presser in my life.  Hell, he quotes Rimbaud and Proust in it!

(Plus there is another sequence with Saint Laurent, Warhol, and Mick Jagger that is pretty fun to watch.  Mick plays some terrible piano.)

We do not really get inside the head of this prodigy who took over the House of Dior at twenty-one years of age, who was painfully shy, and battled depression all his life, much less is there any real serious discussion of how Saint Laurent changed fashion.

The main story being told here is of his relationship with Berge and their massive art collection, which Berge auctioned off recently through Christie's.

I most certainly will seek out the other doc about Saint Laurent.  The photographs of him are so evocative, the glasses, the shy embarrassed smiles.  I want to know the secrets behind that face.

I would like to mention though, that much of the proceeds from this film go straight to AIDS charities, presumably at Pierre Berge's insistence.

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