Bertrand Bonello, 2014
France | French with English subtitles | Format: DCP | 150 minutes
North American Premiere
Q&A with director Bertrand Bonello and actors Gaspard Ulliel and Aymeline Valade on September 30
Running counter to the current strain of wan, mechanical biopics, Bertrand Bonello’s Saint Laurent toys deliriously with the genre’s rules and limitations. Focusing on a dark, hedonistic, wildly creative decade (from 1967 to ’77) in Yves Saint Laurent’s life and career, Bonello considers the couturier (convincingly embodied by Gaspard Ulliel and later by Visconti stalwart Helmut Berger) as a myth, a brand, an avatar of his era. Bonello’s star-studded supporting cast (including Louis Garrel, Léa Seydoux, Jérémie Renier, and Valeria Bruni Tedeschi) serves as first-rate human mise en scène amid a kaleidoscopic torrent of lavish excess, retrospectively pieced together with a Proustian form of fast-and-loose association. As much as his subject and the gravitational pull he exerts in the hothouse environments of atelier and nightclub, Bonello is interested—as he was in House of Pleasures, his sumptuous portrait of a fin de siècle Parisian brothel—in cinema’s potential both to capture and to warp the passage of time and our perception of it. A Sony Pictures Classics release.
Travel support provided by Unifrance