Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A different kinds of Blue

For the first time ever a lesbian drama won the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival. Over the weekend the three-hour French coming-of-age film “La Vie d’Adèle” (“Blue Is the Warmest Color” for English audiences) won the Palme D’Or, a prize that was preceded by gushing reviews from critics and frequent breathless mention of its 10- to 15-minute graphic sex scene that made the audience stand up and applaud when it was over. Reviewers of the scene in question have, generally speaking, done the literary equivalent of rent a neon sign that read “HOT LESIAN SEX” and turned it on for all to see. My friend Heather had a nice round-up of reviews of Le Scene over at AE yesterday.

To sum them up:
“writhing, moaning erotic hunger,” “fingering, licking, and, as a friend called it, ‘impressive scissoring,’” “undeniably titillating” and “red hot.”

Now, I am no prude. As yesterday’s post might suggest, my sense of humor might run more blue than some and believe you me I like a hot lesbian sex scene as much as the next gay lady. So it’s not the scene so much that has me perplexed, but the focus on the scene. I guess it’s inevitable. Sex sells everything from cars to deodorant, and it’s been a part of the movies since the first images flickered across a screen. So if the sex gets some folks in to see quality drama, maybe it’s worth it. I just wish one didn’t have to be such a selling point to get us to enjoy the other.

Though, to be fair to critics, they didn’t only wag their tongues at the sexysexytimes. Most also praised rich emotional portrayals and dense character journeys in the film (which was based on a graphic novel). And raves have also been handed out to its stars, Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux, who play 15-year-old Adèle and blue-haired art student Emma – two young women who meet and begin an intense relationship. So that alone has me excited for the film to hit American theaters. Though, this being a French movie, I’m ready for inevitable crushing heartbreak. I love you, my French friends, but your movies tend to depress the living crap out of me – but in a good way. Mostly. Just thinking about “The Dreamlife of Angels” makes me eat a whole box of chocolates.

In conclusion: Rich Lesbian Drama + Hot Lesbian Sex = A Whole Lot of People Are Going to Be Going to Reading Subtitles Soon.


Unknown said...

I suspect that "rent a neon science" is typo, even if one that kind of sparks the imagination.

Florence said...

I think critics talk about the sex scene (among other things) because it's apparently quite bold.
If this was the usual lesbian sex scene where you have no idea what's going on, there would be no big fuss.
At least this time, we'll see that lesbians don't just stroke hair and make out, they actually f*ck.
I'm super excited about the movie, and I can't believe we have to wait until October (in Europe) to be able to watch it. Probably even much later for you Americans.

mel p said...

I've been thinking about this ever since reading the first review, and then seeing it win. The weird thing is, lots of films don't actually have a lot of sex in them, when you think about it. So in some ways it's noteworthy. Of course it helps that it's lesbian sex. An acquaintance of mine poured cold water over my excitement at the win within minutes, dismissively calling it another KIDS ARE ALRIGHT - ie 'indie movie gets lesbians wrong again'. Me, I'm gonna wait and see it. I'm genuinely interested, because apart from the sex (whatever), it sounds like a great love story.

sophiedrx said...

Dear Dorothy, yes, our indie movies are depressing lol. And i don't even need to read a review or a summary to know that i'll cry my eyes out watching this one. But damn, i can't wait for october 5th!

Alex said...

As a french lesbian who usually doesn't like french movies (very few exceptions), I have no words to express how excited I am for this one! Really looking forward to watching it, I can't wait :)

I hope it will become one of these few exceptions.

Carmen SanDiego said...

Can't wait to see this one
I'll be there day one

egghead said...

I want to pre order the graphic novel on Amazon, yet I don't know. I hear Julie Maroh, the author is upset about the movie - the love scenes. The director practically ignored her in Cannes.

Great thoughts on the subject, Dorothy. Also Richard Gere showed off a bit too in that Gigolo movie - like totally. I've always admired that. Otherwise, I've always thought sex could not be portrayed/mimicked successfully.