Sunday, March 15, 2009

2009 French Film Festival (3) - Seraphine

The largest theatre at Academy was exhausted: never for me since Brokeback Mountain. Acompanied as it was by a continuing torrential thunderstorm, this was an intensely atmospheric film. Having been showered with Cesars, I expected much: and was disappointed a little.

Yolande Moreau absolutely inhabited the main character: taking her from giddily naughty when stealing candlewax from the alter, to catatonic when creating her 2m high masterpieces. However, the film seemed long - in reality only 2 hours - and the screenplay fractured as we delved into 1914 - already aged 50 - then 1927 and finally, 1932. She died in 1942 aged 78. Agonisingly, no explanation for her madness was ever attempted, instead the film may have implied that is was a product of her genius making what seemed to me many references to Van Gogh especially in the santitorium scenes. Kirsten posited that it may have been syphillis. There was just one scene - out of context - where she was asked about being in love which could bear upon this. The mad scene with the silk wedding dress, taken I presume from MacBeth, is a joyful saddness. Annoyingly, the character neither aged nor lost weight.

No comments: