Thus Yves Saint Laurent would have died in 1976. This is the symbolic postulate, inspired by a rumor of the time, which splits “Saint Laurent” into two parts. The front, where Bonello films the great couturier (Gaspard Ulliel, ideal) as a delicate artist then star designer, Narcisse dandyesque (all those mirrors!) Consumed by his discomfort (” I am a monster “, he repeats), his addictions (alcohol, drugs) and his passion for Jacques de Bascher (Louis Garrel) who initiated him into stupor before disappearing. And afterwards, where he is nothing more than an old Viscontian sphinx (played by Helmut Berger), observing with nostalgia his world in the process of disappearing, kept alive by Pierre Bergé (Jérémie Renier), his guardian angel, his gaoler.
An esthete in search of elegance
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Bonello tells about Saint Laurent as much as art in the face of reality (the split-screen between the 1968 fashion show and the news of the time) and money (a stunning scene between Bergé and his Rican shareholders), yesterday’s cinema (Pasolini’s phantom on YSL’s lifeless body in a vacant lot) and today (Garrel, fleeing fantasy; Léa Seydoux, favorite), and the Proustian feeling of a passing life.
His film, impressionist, sensual, musical, is a model of biopic because he does not seek to be one, preferring to biographical ramifications to embody the spirit of man, to exhume the perfume of an existence dedicated to loving the beautiful, even though he was rubbing shoulders with the mire. It is the work of an esthete in search of elegance. Like its subject.
Saturday December 18 at 8:50 p.m. on Ciné + Club. French biopic by Bertrand Bonello (2014). With Gaspard Ulliel. 2h25. (In multicast and On demand).