I cannot believe that I almost wanted to give this and the entire A Design Film Festival 2014 a miss because of my busy schedule and the fact that most of my appointments are literally back-to-back. Thank you so much to Xin Yi for bringing me along last Sunday.
It is just a pity that I only managed to catch one film and not most of the selections this year.
A French biography drama film by Jalil Lespert, Yves Saint Laurent leads the viewers through the journey of the man himself from a young age of 21 as he was assigned to oversee Paris fashion house after the sudden passing of Christian Dior to opening his own after being introduced to Pierre Bergé.
The film revealed the ugly, the highs and the every day life of the legendary icon of fashion through the perspective of Bergé. I was pleasantly surprised by the level of honesty and how much the film actually revealed. Maybe I expected way more details to be kept under wraps and everything to be all glamorous.
But of course, more details and events could have been shown since there are many reviews that it is lacking in substance and having just style for such a film is not enough. After all, many of us would love to explore the fashion genius’ mind further and to discover hidden secrets just so he appears less mysterious and more ordinary.
I beg to differ though. I really appreciated the honesty and the focus on the emotional journey instead of just one that is achievement driven. I was really captivated and invested in the atmospheric world from start to finish. And I think that adding more content would have made the film too tiring to watch as there would inevitably be an overload of information to absorb in a short span of time.
Besides the content, I enjoyed the execution of the film itself.
The use of tinted lighting, natural sunlight and slight graininess of the whole film really brought me back to the sixties. To me, that made the film believable and really beautiful together with the choice of outfits – cutting, patterns and colours. The music was a wonderful touch as well, since the scenes flowed seamlessly in terms of the mood and setting.
Lastly, there were many lines that resonated with me and even now, I can still hear the voices of the actors in my mind with the scene playing again and again and again.
My favourite line is, “I love him. But you are the love of my life.”
Complete with the glazed over eyes and the breaking of the voice as his lip. His face bruised and tired, just like his heart.
So yes, it was a great experience and I felt many emotions while seated in my seat in the cinema. I guess this film will have a special place in my heart for some reason and I am unable to describe or justify why.
It just is.
I am definitely going to try and keep my schedule free for the festival next year. Looking forward to the selections and feeling inspired, touched and thoughtful all over again.