After a Cannes Selection and Opening Night last May in legendary Palais des Festivals, Bertrand Bonello is flirting with the grace by having his own interpretation of Saint-Laurent's character and life representing France for the Best Foreign Language Feature at the 2015 Oscars.
What a challenge was the one to fight against Pierre Berge's veto and censorship that shook up the French cinema industry in 2013 for a director previously categorised as "film d'auteur". Risks has been perfectly managed and brilliantly driven by the director of astonishing House of Tolerance. Sticking to his now renowned refined tastes and blasting visions, Bertrand Bonello establishes himself as a key player on the international direction scene.
Not only the piece shows strengths from its polished images, rigorous frames and angles, choices of the most accurate musics and high-end editing allowing the public to slide from a scene to another over brilliant artefacts; but the direction of actors is a feat showing Bonello's ability to gain the respect of his casting by bringing them all - Ulliel on the first row - to outperform and break away from their standard images.
A-Chronological Pieces of Mind
Through an ethereal play of mirrors - Bonello did not get enough of rendering the life of the Master, but depicted his mind and soul without hiding the weaknesses and torments Saint-Laurent had to suffer from its unique position. The loneliness of a man is fully explained by a phrase he often used to describe his daily pattern: "I created a monster, I now have to cope with it" as he would say. One can easily regret the never ceasing entanglements of flashbacks and flashforwards around the eleven cruelly crucial years of Saint-Laurent's carreer Bonello focused on: 1967-1976. From childhood souvenirs to the very last
Under the "Coutures" of a Sacred Monster
Through tough times of fighting for the right to use his name again, to his relationship with Pierre Bergé, his great taste for arts, the progressive construction of the interior of the appartment of rue de Babylone, his regular correspondences with Andy Warhol and the progressive loss of memory by the very end of his days - the universe of Saint-Laurent is recreated in a surprisingly consistent way. From costumes to decors, from litterature references to the matching soundtrack of the times, from dreamy visions to the most precise happenings and landmarks of his life - nothing appears to have been left to chance.
memorials extracts were certainly intended to give a Madeleine of Proust (Saint-Laurent most beloved writer)
taste of the Master's creative process and impact of the past rendered through many of his collections - thus, one can easily get lost in the tricky corridors of such an imbricated mind. And the narration is slightly suffering from this experiential testimony.
But never does it really annoy one to the point of cutting the breathtaking wave Bonello succeeds to impact and the creative objectivity of both the artists meeting through a film on a deferred spacetime.
With a casting that could be whitening a coal worker, the quality of the whole piece is widely enhanced: Gaspard Ulliel and Helmut Berger at the eponymous interpretation but also Jérémie Rénier, Louis Garrel, Léa Seydoux, Amira Casar, Aymeline Valade, Micha Lescot, Jasmine Trinca, Valérie Donzelli, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Thierry de Peretti or the recently established usual guest of this cinema family Brady Corbet (spotted at least in three different features last Cannes - Ruben Ostlund's Turist and Olivier Assayas' Sils Maria) - the piece does not encounter the classical pitfalls neither of a guest movie nor of an ensemble film.
Plus a couple of performances are to be enlightened for their narrow appropriateness to the general atmosphere of the piece - we particularly think about immense Amira Casar in the role of Anne-Marie Munoz the head seamstress, Aymeline Valade young actress embodying Betty Catroux or Michael Lescot a young french theater comedian who already shone on Parisian stages and certainly deserves to be emplaced on the A-list of growing talents. Last but not least, Louis Garrel dazzling in the controversial clothes of Jacques de Bascher - this mysterious man who could break both Karl Lagerfeld and Saint-Laurent's hearts before disappearing in a flight of tiny incandescant lyric particles.As for the full board of names, is it Saint-Laurent himself who pushed all these usual french cinema actors to shed their expected appearance on
screen or Bonello's visionnary humanism who inspired them to reach another apex?
May the question remain unanswered - let's hope for this wind of freshness to scatter over the French Cinema upcoming treasures.
The Genius who Only Hung on a Thread
None of our intent is to operate a judgmental criticism about the lifestyle of a creative mind and gifted man who overpassed the regular criterion of fashion designing. But to end these few words, one shall consider Saint-Laurent's favorite Proust quotation - as recalled by Pierre Bergé in his eulogy - "he, who belonged to this great family of the nervous ones, is the salt of the earth" ("il appartenait à cette grande famille des nerveux, qui est le sel de la terre »).
SOME/DINER 001 META/MORPHOSIS
James & Charlotte sincerely thank
yariv / florian / jérôme / béatrice / alexia / béatrice / anthony / cheng / monica / mwanga / wai ming / david / nathaniel / thomas / guillaume / olivier / adrien / albin / yoann / takami / nicole / gilles / pascale / eloïse / floriana / pouria - for their precious contributions to the launching of SOME/DINER.
patrice / catherine / sabrina / tariq / katharine / asa / karl / olivier / emmanuel / nicolas / david / violaine / yoann / adrien - for sharing this experience with them tonight.
When Bernard Arnault met Frank Gehry on the 10th of September 2001 to offer him the challenge of creating a flagship for culture under the name of Louis Vuitton Foundation, it was somehow prefigured that the face of the world had to change.
So did the face of New York. So did the face of Paris - being offered the ornament of a futuristic Melvillian opus. Thus when wandering around the maze of this monumental structure, one can dream he would cross Lewis Carroll passionately discussing with M.C. Escher.
Rekindling the aging area of Bois de Boulogne by mixing up culture and architecture in the swirls of a translucent shell, the space is dedicated to contemporary arts - a neo-legacy.
Genesis of an achieved utopia
In the twisting and turning of Frank Gehry’s inspiration was progressively
elaborated this architectural UFO. Conversely responding to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao by using the metal as a structure and the glass as an envelope,
it evokes the most picturesque adventures.
Gehry started his researches over a cubic building - very much classical rectangulary shape on pilotis - and the exhibition rooms renders very well the many steps of creation of his visions. Complex elaboration adaptating to the essence of the park in which it is located - a garden initiated by the man for the man. Artificial water point hosting this glass & concrete amphibious Moby Dick turned into a ship.
Giant of the most-advanced techniques
The apex of the project: when icebergs are adornments from inside a boat - and not natural ennemies coming from the darkest shorelines - the true felicity and longevity of the building are contained in its narrative & visual DNA. First made out of simple sheets of paper in the creative process, some of the most advanced models shown in Gehry’s exhibition room are modeled with 3D printing techniques.
The carcass of this mollusk with a hard shell is made of about 7000 glass
plaques also called glass veils - doubled with a tiny white spots serigraphy
inside to give it enough resistance as well as a pleasant natural lighting to the insides.
But behind techniques are also men - closing the loop of history - thanks to the fierce brains and labour forces of Gehry Partners’ based in Los Angeles - in a shed as an anthouse where the most brilliant experts are reunited to comply with a genius of Gehry’s kind.
Fine Arts in Contemporary
The Foundation welcomes an ensemble of 11 galleries, a studio, 4 main terraces, a library, a restaurant and a hi-tech auditorium. In between a selection of established pieces from Bernard Arnault’s collection - Gerhard Richter, Christian Boltanski, Ellsworth Kelly, Pierre Huyghes or Thomas Schütte - to a series of commissioned works - Olafur Eliasson’s Grotto, Taryn Simon, Cerith
Wyn Evans - the volumes enable a soft and pleasant wandering that enlights
the essence of the arts. Upcoming programmation of finest choices musics - classical to electro - to take place in the auditorium.
This is were the crossing starts - but one can only feel delighted by such a prowess. This is what can happen when two great men paths cross - Parisian are attributed a new vessel in town, an inescapable experience.
The Casa Solo Pezo is one of twelve holiday houses appointed to a repertoire of architects scrupulously curated by French developer Christian Bourdais. The Solo Houses project has been in motion as early as 2010 and; in a similar fashion to John Entenza’s Case Study House Program of the mid-1900s; are an examination into an over-arching architectural postulation that finding sociopolitical loci, commentary and (perhaps) change is an occurrence found first and foremost in the residential.
In the case of Solo Houses, the abodes are situated on craggy terrain of the Spanish canton of Matarraña. Although somewhat isolated from dense urban society (2 hours from Barcelona), the houses nonetheless engage in social commentary, which is expounded and experienced purely through architectural language (and perhaps most notably in the situated distance from dense urban society itself). Whilst Entenza’s line-up involved prominent architects of the mid-1900s from Saarinen to Koenig, Solo Houses is an immanent celebration of our contemporary architectural circumstance; with the variegated line-up of architects ranging from the conceptual whimsicality
of Sou Fujimoto to the august material articulation and sheer craftsmanship of Studio Mumbai. Although propounded to the public as a carte blanche for the architects in question, it is perhaps more pertinently explicated as an opportunity for the purity of an architectural concept to retain potency from ideation to reification; with the only parameters directing the project being primarily economical and geographical. Perhaps most notably what the situation has allowed for is a pervading localisation within the architecture; a consistent and thorough language, given an opportunity to resound throughout the said architecture as a sustained, unwavering leitmotif.
Casa Solo Pezo by the Chile-based Pezo von Ellrichshausen Architects is a structure that emphatically levitates amongst the surrounding greenery, incisively piercing the sloping datum line. Access to the house is guided by a bifurcated monolithic staircase in cast concrete, with each diverging path leading to the same convergent space. Formally, the sober language of the house is found in its disciplined rectilinearity. A quadrilateral plinth is perched atop a singular column as a central structural gesture biomimetically analogous to a tree trunk. Floating views are offered from an open yet interstitial space encircling a central sky well akin to the Japanese houses
found in the world of the same name. Distinguishing the sky well is the presence of a pool carved from the centre of the space. A material favorite of Barragán - and arguably immortalized in our modern tradition by Mies’ Barcelona Pavilion; water is used in a highly material sense; reflecting the encompassing symmetry and adding; as Barragán would call it; a ’serenity’ to the space. The fluidity and transparency of the material serve as a direct counterpoint to the linear language of the volume and additionally offer a sonic tranquility to resound against the the solid concrete walls bearing traces of the local timber formwork.
The story is set in Marseille between 1947 and 1951, when Charles-Edouard Jeanneret (best known as Le Corbusier) could progressively watch - being erected from the surface of this dry soil - the old-fashioned human scaled vision of what he would conceptualize a "Habitat System". Affectionately nicknamed "La Maison du Fada" (The House of the Crackpot) by south of France locals, it fully seizes Le Corbu's inheritage for international architecture. Seen through the lense of photographer Elise Toïde, is an aesthetical reinterpretation filled with sci-fi minimalism. A composite piece of art based on this grayish concrete structure containing 337 apartments of 23 different types.
Another Architectural Spacetime
Post-WW2 was a real need for innovation - making the people dream, gathering them to live together, working with the barest materials on tough financial schemes and re-thinking the extension of the biggest cities - fully embodied by the Cité Radieuse as thought by Le Corbusier and his teams. Le Corbusier would himself declare that "a house is a machine for living" - so would the vision of this imaginary amphibious spaceship. Landed on earth early 50s, it could somehow find its way through the undulating landscape until the closest body of water before a safety ignition system would contact and have it vanishing in the cosmos.
The Manned Spacecraft & the Extra-Modulor
Dignified heir of Leonardo da Vinci - the full conceptualization is based on a system baptized Modulor - an obvious Vitruvian Man derivative enforcement. Mainly made up by the Master in a crave for universality - intending to overcome the two measurement systems that divide the planet - it is also a vow to the well-being of manhood. Modulor thus is a system calculated over the golden ratio - with scale following Fibonacci numbers adapted to human measurements.
Obsessed by the needs of humanity, Le Corbu would arrange its interiors by precisely defining the areas of accessibility and facilitating everyday in-house actions by lowering the efforts.
would arrange its interiors by precisely defining the areas of accessibility and facilitating everyday in-house actions by lowering the efforts.
Travelling Through Present Days
Initially thought as a vertical village - filled with interior streets, a daily, a library, a hotel, a school and a nursery - the roof used to be a public area filled with a pool & playground and 360° vision over the valley. On this open Air Space is now settled the MAMO Audi talents award. Created by Ora Ito, this laboratory where science and creation meet, offer young and established talents a place of exhibition and sharing.
Le Corbusier's consideration about architecture finds its logical evolution - "You employ stone, wood and concrete, and with these materials you build houses and palaces. That is construction. Ingenuity is at work. But suddenly you touch my heart, you do me good, I am happy and I say: "This is beautiful." That is Architecture. Art enters in." - not only Art entered in, Art is now on top.