What happens when a woman falls in love with an inanimate object? A rollercoaster, to be precise? This colourful, strange, sensitive feast for the eyeballs explores just that.
Jeanne (Noémie Merlant, “Portrait of a Lady on Fire”) is an outsider who is unlike the people around her. She’s tormented by cruel men and lives with her leopard print-wearing, day-drinking mother Margarette (Emmanuelle Bercot) who loudly displays her own sexuality to the point of embarrassment.
Her favourite place in the world is the local theme park and she spends hours creating illuminated models of the rides in her bedroom. Continue reading Berlinale Exclusive Review: Jumbo
“It’s done,” Céline Sciamma said through laughter, “I don’t need your approval!” Ten minutes earlier, a lengthy applause break punctuated the film screening and Sciamma was welcomed to the stage with a standing ovation. Sitting in a folding director’s chair on-stage in the sold-out Music Box Theater in Chicago, IL, Sciamma shared insights on the filmmaking process during a question and answer session with the audience. The early pre-screening of “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” (2019) was part of a press tour preceding the films wide release in the United States. Continue reading Review: “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” and Q&A with Céline Sciamma
“Portrait Of A Lady On Fire” is a wonderfully subtle, minimalist film, one that trusts the audience’s ability to pick up on the slightest glance, the coyest smirk. It’s also worth nothing that the director is herself a queer woman, having known Haenel as a partner both professional and romantic, and reminding us that queer and trans folk should be taking the lead on LGBTQ+ cinema. Continue reading ITOL 2019 Round-up: Portrait Of A Lady On Fire
This is the female gaze like you’ve never seen it before. “Portrait”–a film set in Brittany, France in the 18th century–is a showcase of how the depths of insight and poignancy in a work of art comes as a result of the artist having a deep, loving, obsessive understanding of their subject. It is a film about two women on an island with hardly anyone else around them and the painfully, yet deliciously slow romance that materializes from a connection of their minds, bodies, and souls.
The film is thematically rich and daring, yet never once seeks to shove a message or agenda down your throat; it’s a love story, plain and simple. Writer/director Céline Sciamma clearly isn’t interested in subverting history in an effort to appease the needs of a contemporary audience–yet in spite of that, this is a film brimming with human truths. It is reminiscent of the underpinnings and themes found Greek and Gothic literature and poetry. Tender, yet complex and multifaceted–this is in no way a political film, but rather, a subtle social commentary on the kinds of job opportunities available to women in the 18th century. Continue reading Review: Portrait of a Lady on Fire