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Blue Rap

March 8, 2014

I’m told blue, the color of the sky, represents constancy and truth. It’s always there, hovering over us, ephemeral and transparent.

The sound of derrières being slapped in Blue Is The Warmest Color brings us back down to earth. It’s almost as prevalent as Robert Redford’s heavy breathing in All Is Lost. With each crisp slap the director and his actresses appear to be asserting the ardent, passionate nature of the relationship they’re trying to evoke. L’amour fou

O, that this too too solid flesh would melt
Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!

Blue Is The Warmest Color comes to us as the talk of Cannes 2013. After all, a blue ribbon jury led by Steven Spielberg awarded it the Palme D’or.

It has acquired certain notoriety due to its several interludes “graphically” depicting lesbian sex. But to tell you the truth, that seems to me secondary to the very French/ness of Abdellatif Kechiche’s very French film.

This is a film essai owing much , I think, to Eric Rohmer, Jean Eustache, even Robert Bresson, edited and shot in the spirit of the nouvelle vague.

More than sex, Kechiche wants very much to talk about things, in the main things of a bourgeois nature. We get conversation upon conversation about the nature of love, love at first sight, Marivaux’s La vie de Marianne, Jean Anouilh’s Antigone, the art of Gustav Klimt, of Egon Schiele, Picasso, the making of art, the business of art, class, privilege, tastes, acquired tastes, the life choices we face.

Blue is a coming of age story about Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos) and her first adult affair with Emma (Léa Seydoux). Adèle is a voluptuary. Emma is a more practical petit bourgeois lesbian artist. Adèle aspires to be a teacher. She wants to give back. It appears she also wants to live her life indulging her pleasures as they come.

Emma is more focused. She wants in to the inner sanctum of the commercial art world. The choices each character makes surprised me, especially considering the way the film started out.

Blue Is The Warmest Color ponders the nature of love,  first love, with its intermingling of sorrow as well as celebration.

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And if Blue Is The Warmest Color gets you in a blue mood you might want to try: Betty Blue – Jean-Jacques Beineix; The Blue Lagoon – Randal Kleiser;  Blue Movie aka F**k  – Andy Warhol; Blue Valentine – Derek Cianfrance ; Blue Velvet – David Lynch; I Am Curious (Blue) – Vilgot Sjöman; or The Moon Is Blue – Otto Preminger.

Am I blue, how about you?


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