Posts Tagged ‘Helmut Berger’

The Fight for Elegance

Saint Laurent

saint_laurent_ver3

Director: Bertrand Bonello

Cast: Gaspard Ulliel, Lea Seydoux, Louis Garrel, Helmut Berger, Jeremie Renier, Brady Corbet, Aymeline Valade, Amira Casar

Director Bertand Bonello’s epic portrait of the life of influential fashion Designer Yves Saint Laurent is beautifully if not explicitly captured in his amazing biopic Saint Laurent, starring the gorgeous Gaspard Ulliel as the iconic and tortured designer.

Belgian actor Jeremie Renier  (In Bruges) stars as the French industrialist Pierre Berge whom together with Saint Laurent founded the hugely successful and influential Parisian Fashion House Yves Saint Laurent YSL, making it an international, synonymous with style and sophistication.

Bonello’s Saint Laurent not as brilliantly done as Olivier Dahan’s Oscar winning La Vie en Rose about the life of Edith Piaf, but just as lush and gorgeous simply making the entire film a tribute to Proust, the French novelist and celebrated aesthete who influenced the extraordinarily talented designer Yves Saint Laurent.

Choosing not to show YSL from his early years in Algeria or his time briefly spent in the French army, but rather focusing on the crucial years of his artistic flourishing between 1967 and 1976, where together with Berge he transformed women’s fashion and the two of them whilst being lovers also were integral in establishing a hugely profitable international fashion label.

Industrialist Pierre Berge was the business brains behind the venture while YSL was clearly the creative force whose own inner demons led him into a debauched life of drugs, orgies and extravagant co-dependence.

saint_laurent_ver4

Yves Saint Laurent love affair with the notoriously promiscuous Jacques de Bascher who embraced the 1970’s sexual revolution and rise of gay expression, post Stonewall in Paris and New York. They were frequently seen at famous Parisian nightclubs and indulged in a decadent relationship which was eventually doomed to failure, as YSL’s drug and alcohol excesses were threatening his distinctive creativity.

Jacques the epitome of a gay 1970’s dilettante, wonderfully played by Louis Garrel from the provocative Bernardo Bertolucci film The Dreamers is perfectly cast in this role. Seductive, dangerous and certainly a bad influence, Garrel portrays Jacques as a male version of a femme fatale.

Berge intervenes and rescues YSL from this dangerous courtship and soon re-establishes their dominance in haute couture in 1970’s Paris. YSL was famous for dressing such stars as Catherine Deneuve and opera singer Maria Callas.

Clearly influenced by Martin Scorsese, Bonello’s two and a half hour Saint Laurent is a drug fuelled, sexual and gorgeous portrayal of one of the 20th century’s most famous fashion designers who subverted traditional gender roles with the introduction of the feminine two piece pant suit complete with fabulous accessories and sparkling cobra shaped belts.

Yves Saint Laurent own obsession with 19th century French novelist Marcel Proust and his tremendous love of the aesthetic is defined as the continuing fight for elegance.

Dividing his time between his villa in Marrakech and his lavish apartment in Paris as well his jetset appearances in New York, the portrait of YSL is of a true creative genius, eccentric, tortured and revolutionary. Bonello’s chooses to frame Saint Laurent in his later years in the 1980’s as he leads a reclusive life in Paris in between splicing shots of the rapturous 1976 Haute Couture Fashion Show at the Paris Atelier which YSL become so famous for.

Saint Laurent is a gorgeous film, beautifully portrayed by all in the cast including upcoming actress Lea Seydoux (The Grand Budapest Hotel, Midnight in Paris) as Loulou and indie actor Brady Corbet (Mysterious Skin) as the American representative for YSL.

Capturing the fragility and creativity of YSL, Gaspard Ulliel by his looks alone carries the role for the entire two and a half hour film but audiences should be warned that besides the subtitles, certain sexual scenes may be disturbing to the uninformed.

As biopics go, Saint Laurent is not a perfect film, slightly indulgent, beautifully shot and at times like watching Tom Ford’s A Single Man on an extended acid trip. Recommended viewing for those that enjoy a strenuous French film about that nation’s most influential fashion designers and more importantly the business of Fashion itself. Best line in the film: “You can’t name a perfume Opium”.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yves_Saint_Laurent_(designer)

Film Directors & Festivals
Reviews and Awards
Review Calender
May 2018
M T W T F S S
« Apr    
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  
  • ‘Saturday Night Live’ Finale: Tina Fey Reprises Sarah Palin Role (Watch)
    Tina Fey hosted the May 19 season finale of “Saturday Night Live” and reprised her role as Sarah Palin in a sketch about the ghosts of the White House’s past. “I was the first female on a Republican presidential ticket and now I tweet for Bass Pro Shops,” she said. “Take it from me, politics […]
    Danielle Turchiano
  • ‘Saturday Night Live’ Parodies the Royal Wedding Reception (Watch)
    Just hours after Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex married Meghan Markle, “Saturday Night Live’ put its own spin on the royal wedding on its May 19 season finale. Offering an “exclusive” look inside the reception, Mikey Day’s Prince Harry took his wedding videographer –and the audience by extension — around the party, introducing family members […]
    Danielle Turchiano
  • ‘SNL’ Finale: Tina Fey Takes Questions From Jerry Seinfeld, Benedict Cumberbatch, Donald Glover
    Tina Fey hosted the May 19 season finale of “Saturday Night Live” and she brought with her some of her famous friends. For her opening monologue, the former “SNL” writer and actor said she was told she was allowed to do anything because it was her birthday yesterday, and what she wanted to do was […]
    Danielle Turchiano
  • ‘Saturday Night Live’: Alec Baldwin Returns For Season Finale ‘Sopranos’ Parody (Watch)
    Alec Baldwin was back on “Saturday Night Live” May 19 for the NBC comedy’s 43rd season finale in a cold open sketch that had him meeting his friends and foes — including Kate McKinnon’s Rudy Giuliani, Ben Stiller’s Michael Cohen and Robert De Niro’s Robert Mueller — in a diner. It was a chance for […]
    Danielle Turchiano
  • Shawn Mendes Crashes Taylor Swift’s Rose Bowl Concert With Surprise Performance
    On her last tour three years ago, Taylor Swift brought out a different celebrity guest duet partner every night, usually one with local ties. That idea doesn’t seem to be getting a revival with her current “Reputation” stadium tour, partly because Swift is reluctant to repeat herself, probably, and partly because she already has two […]
    chrislwillman