[critical 2/2] LOVE

Tout began with a meeting held in the bus heading to the grand palais at Cannes … two old ladies have taken a liking to us and decided to give us invitations for the meeting to midnight of the same evening (Wednesday may 20). The session in question was the latest film from Gaspar Noé, who were said to be very shocking and they didn’t want to go and see. Happy to go up the stairs and curious to see this “erotic film”, we did not hesitate to take these invitations. In the tail at the bottom of the palace, to 23: 45, we became friends with a security guard who was very surprised that two young girls go to see a porn in 3D”. As ingénues who had not followed the controversy around the film and were there by chance, we were going from surprise to surprise.

Finally in the room, Gaspar Noé and these players (completely smashed) make their entrance, the light goes off, the movie starts… the hall of The great palace which can accommodate nearly 4,000 people, there was a special atmosphere and a very public and very playful. One had almost the impression to be with an audience of theatre as it applauded or laughed at the unite as soon as a scene he liked. This atmosphere and experience it in 3D made the film a true experience of the spectator, but also a pleasant surprise!

Indeed it is a beautiful film on the merits, since a story of love passion (classic, but still attractive) and on the form because there is a true aesthetic work (and not just because the actors are very beautiful). First of all a slight outline to guide you without you spoiler. The story is built in flash back, a morning Murphy (Karl Glusman) receives a call from the mother of Electra (Paod Muyok) his old girlfriend, who is desperately looking for the last 2 months. This call triggers, with the help of opium, the memory of their union past. This relationship is primarily composed of love, sex, and drugs. Electra and Murphy are two young people a few misfits who live in Paris. He wants to be a director and wishes to make a film where you see the “sex, blood, and tears” because that is what make up life and what it hides for the sake of propriety (you can see here a note of intent on the part of Gaspar Noé, who made the film talking about his character). She is a painter and does not hesitate fleureter with the gallery owner Noah (played by Gaspar Noé himself) to sell his paintings. They love each other and they show it, of course, the erotic scenes are numerous and sometimes a little bit long, but they are not offensive or dirty, because unlike porn it is also scenes of courtship (it is very far from the scene of the viol “Irreversible”).

“The film-the shock of Cannes is, therefore, before a controversy to frighten the media, a theater experience that puts all of our senses.”

The form is very elaborate, in the framing, the light and the mount. We are happy to see the 3D anywhere other than in an action film, or science fiction, it is not exaggerated, it distorts sometimes a little body and gives an image quality particular. There are scenes where it is particularly effective, I think, obviously, at the scene of cumshot on the public that has made everyone laugh, but especially at the scene of a dispute in a nightclub (which is very successful) the light beams of the box come to caress the face of the public, and give the impression of being on the track with Murphys and Electra. The light is very present, these are almost always artificial lights colored green, orange, blue, red. The lighting scenes that correspond to places or moments, for example the same apartment is filmed in two different lightings to underline the difference between this (light, clear, yellow, Murphy is the father of a family) and the past (light green, red, Murphy’s on drugs and is crazy in love with Electra). This work on the lighting scenes is interesting in that it gives an account of a state of the characters and the fact that Murphys tells the story in drug. In this we do not forget that the film is a trip, with a large part of the fantasy of where the importance of sex and weird lights. Moreover, it is a story subjective as it presupposes the voice-over that echoes the thoughts interiors of Murphys since the opening of the film.

The film is very fragmented, there is a multiplication and duplication of plans, even if we are often confronted with a long sequence shot. First of all, in the fact that it is relatively the same frames that come back repeatedly. I think of the scene in diving where Murphys and Electra smoke after making love wrapped in a red sheet, the composition of the shot is very beautiful. The viewer discovers this scene by fragment, he leaves her and finds her 10 minutes later. The mounting uses the process several times. It will, for example, start by showing the end of a sequence, such as sequence breaking, and it is only at the end of the film that we see the sequence in its entirety. This process without doubt echoes the fact that this is a story in flash back of memories in the drug, so the memories do not always appear to the protagonist in their intégralités and intelligibilités first. Everything happens as if there were flash back in flash back, and that the narrative is directed as to its course, which makes account of the difficulty of putting in order of the memories. To finish a final editing process that I would name the “heartbeat city”, many times the plans are separated by a black very short, which allow a change of scale of plan or just make a break in the sequence. This contributes to the fragmentation of the assembly and serves once again to the issues related to the difficulty of remembering. All of which is punctuated by a electro music very present, and success.

The sensational film of Cannes is so before be a controversy to frighten the media, a theater experience with its biases and its challenges, which puts our senses on alert, even if among these issues there was, without doubt, the willingness to challenge taboos and to run out of ink. “The empire of the senses” of Oshima’s 1976, which in my opinion is more shocking than “Love”, had also paid its public. The exploration of the taboos in film often arouses the indignation of the crowd, but often in front of an audience seduced (“the empire of the senses” presented by the fortnight of the director at Cannes in 1976, “the life of Adele” won the palme d’or in 2013).


– the criticism of MAXIM

– the criticism of ADELE

the counter-critique of Pierre

CANNES 2015 : the other films in the official selection

– Posters-explicit LOVE

Original title : Love

Achievement : Gaspar Noé

Screenplay : Gaspar Noé

Main players : Karl Glusman, Paod Muyock, Klara Kristin

Country of origin : France

Released : July 15, 2015

Duration : 2h14min

Distributor : Wild Bunch Distribution

Synopsis : during a long rainy day, Murphy will find himself alone in his apartment to reminisce about his greatest love story, two years with Electra. A passion that contains all kinds of promises, of games, of excess and error…


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