L’amour Fou; crazy love, an excitement that heavily played its part in Yves Saint Laurent’s life; not only in the form of his own extravagant creations but through his extensive art collection and his time with lifelong partner Pierre Berge.
Pierre Thoretton’s documentary is an intriguing production of mixed media including archive footage, personal interviews and intimate photographs which take us through Saint Laurent’s personal loves, along the way reflecting on times of great career triumphs as well slowing down to look into his low points of solitude as well, between which we see the art undertakers as Berge refers to them, carefully clearing their homes of the breathtaking art collection that they had built together over 20 years, preparing for its auction.
Their art is talked about as though it was their brood; through love and appreciation of it they were bought together and it filled their homes with comfort. The sense of their dreams becoming a reality comes across with Berge talking of how when Yves Saint Laurent created his famous Mondrian dress, he never dreamt that some day he would then own a Mondrian piece. Though it was not just art pieces that they had appreciation for, anything of creativity and beauty captured Yves Saint Laurent’s eye. Marrakech, especially held a special place in the couple’s heart with Berge talking of their escapes to the Moroccan paradise and their impulse property investment whilst there, alongside carefree holiday snaps of their getaways.
Berge and others talk admiringly of the design prodigy that young Yves was. Fuzzy black and white clips show a short sighted and shy young man though quick to respond with witty remarks about a full bed being a happy one and with a self assured smirk. His embracing of the young party lifestyle is backed up by fond memoirs from model Betty Catroux as well as glimpses of The Rolling Stones and his Andy Warhol prints, which are then shown to be in immaculate condition perched on a high shelf in his precious library room which is described as his personal space.
As the times move on the relationship between the two men doesn’t seem to fade but is evidently strained. Berge talks briefly of his ties to politics, a passion of his, which sadly his partner seemed to show little interest in, aside from his ‘legion of honor’ award; further cementing his French national treasure status. Nevertheless, this difference in interests and ideas was reflective of how different they were yet Berge reiterates that their roles were clear from the beginning and one without the other would not have been so functional.
Highs and lows throughout are aplenty from catwalk footage to the sound of roaring applause to an emotional retirement announcement from the man himself, in which he touches upon his inevitable struggle with drugs and alcohol yet doesn’t really go to the depths that Pierre Berge does in his present day interviews in which he refers to Yves Saint Laurent’s fame as his dazzling mourning of happiness.
In contrast to previous YSL documentaries, L’amour Fou doesn’t hover around the career behind the man and instead focuses on his extraordinary relationship and how this was instrumental in his private life. In the most part we are walked through by Pierre Berge who is captured in low light and shows through his eyes and movements as well as his words the fascinating love he shared with Yves Saint Laurent. Though there is not a continuous commentary, and at times simply musically backed personal images are shown leaving time for our thoughts to catch up, to see the personalities of the men shine through their memories and for us to get caught up in the intense feeling of loss that Berge feels.
The $480 million that was generated from the 2009 auction of their collection was used in part to fund AIDS research, which Berge famously campaigned long and hard for and the image of him watching on as their beloved art pieces find new homes is a subtly powerful one, suggesting that these objects that ‘have no meaning anymore’ have finally helped him to lay his love to rest.
Dim lights Embed Embed this video on your site
|< Prev||Next >|