Artcore

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Artcore

A drama, 3 ½ hours in length, with the vast majority of that time filled by small groups of characters deep in conversation about relationships, romance, art, literature and philosophy. The entertainment press has elected to promote it in the manner of a carnival peep show. Why?

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Well, considering it's NC-17, I'll just have to wait until it's out on DVD. Which I will, because I think this one sounds pretty incredible, and not just for the love scenes.

Not even a passing reference to Water Lilies? That's probably my favorite movie of this genre, though it's not quite as, er, explicit as the others.

I have been hearing a lot about this movie for months, but I didn't know it was NC-17 or that it was 3 and a half hours long. I imagine this being on Netflix Instant very soon, where I will be very interested in watching it, since there is nary a theater around that will play it, which is sad, but true, otherwise I would go see it.

I do get a bit annoyed when movies like this get the wrong audience who are only in it 'for the Boobiez!', but I suppose any notoriety is better than the movie fading into obscurity, even around a taboo that is slowly becoming realized less as a taboo and more of a reality, I think.

As far as my opinion is worth, It looks like it could be a very good movie, one that now has me intrigued more so than I was previously for it.

I saw this movie at a film festival last month. It was too long for one sitting in my opinion. I like the story of a young woman discovering herself and since the french title indicates that there are meant to be two chapters I think that the films was designed to be shown over two sittings. There is a time shift that signals a tonal shift as well that I feel must have been where it was written to be split and the film would have been more watchable if I myself had been able to leave the theatre and come back later to finish the film. As for the infamous sex scene, it was overlong to the point where it becomes almost self parody. I am no prude but cutting these NC 17 scenes would have moved up the pace of the film.

I've been meaning to watch this film, since I'd heard nothing but good things about it (behind the scenes scandals, aside), but god three and a half hours is a long time to sit passively. I didn't even like sitting that long in Lord of the Rings, and I love that movie.

I'm going to take a slightly different stance on this. Bring on the clueless teenagers, insecure parents, and others who will check this out EXPLICITLY for the sex scene, but please, take away their ability to fast forward. I've read the comic and it very VERY well captures the concept of love, and not necessarily in a good light, but in an obsessive rollercoaster ride of life light. It is easily one of the best arguments against "gay love isn't real love" I've seen. I'd put it up with Brokeback Mountain.(which also had a love making scene, but because "DUDES!!!" it made some cringe)

In stories like this, the love is truly forbidden, for the right reasons. You are suddenly caught in the middle of a situtation that is too private, you are locked in what connects two people and makes them come together. I think more of this is good for...society.

MovieBob:
Plain, shy, middle-class, unlucky-in-love teenager

I can't help noticing that this appears to be the standard Hollywood definition of "plain" that actually means "one of the hottest girls you will ever see". Which seems a bit odd given the subject of the article.

Lea Seydoux and her counterpart actress were interviewed and asked directly whether the sex scene was simulated, and they said it was. They made rubber/plastic/whatever moulds of their actual groins, and then wore them for the scene in question.

That's been done before. IIRC scenes with male genitalia are often done with moulded prosthetics instead of the real thing, both because of reticence on the part of the actor and because it ameliorates any potential "performance issues".

Nice to know why it was featured that much in the media for a month (page 3). It got top headlines once every week, I was really tired of it.

I don't think the taboo is necessarily about sex as such. We actually got to see Black Swan and, apparently, Blue Angel. Lesbians do not seem to be as strong a trigger as we give them credit for.

No. What we cannot see, can basically never see on film outside of the circumstances in which you can watch hardcore pornography, is an erect penis physically interacting with anybody other than its owner in any context. You can touch boobs, you can touch a va-jay, but you cannot touch a hard dong. I am not in a position to make some sort of claim about the politics or history of this fact, but it does not seem to be changing with respect to time except possibly to be more rigorously forbidden.

Maybe it's just be, but I'm getting tired of every gay romance always being portrayed as this lofty, beautiful, uber-passionate, earth-shatteringly amazing power of the universe, a force no one can stop no matter what. But if the movie featured a straight couple with everything else exactly the same (the camera angles, the dialogue, the sex scenes, etc.) no one would bat an eyelash at it. And probably say it's a dumb, boring movie and point out immediately how the couple has no real chance because they're too different and how the "opposites attract" cliche has been done to death. While I do look forward to googling the scenes in question (because I'm not too up for watching a three hour romance movie, even if it was a straight couple), I get the sense that the sexuality of the protagonists is the only reason why anyone gives a damn about it. And I mean that in a social/political sense, not just because girl on girl is hot.

It's this strange not-taboo thing we have going on, where you always hear celebrities coming out and saying they're bi or gay, and the media fawns all over them, declaring them oh so very brave, but none one of them suffer any consequences for it. Granted, I don't think they shouldn't get work because they're gay, as what people do in the bedroom has nothing to do with their job. Yet everyone acts as if these celebrities (or movies like this one) are the next cancer cure because they have the (pardon me for this one) balls to pronounce their gayness. I mean, Neil Patrick Harris is an awesome actor, but nobody paid the poor guy any attention after his child career until he said he was gay. And celebs often use their sexuality to increase their popularity and make themselves critic-proof, because if you say something bad about their work, then you're just a homophobe.

I am reminded of the South Park episode where the independent film festival comes to town.

I'm not denigrating the film, it's not a genre I care about, I just find it amusing that people still think "Euro-art-house film about lesbians exploring their relationship" is worth talking about.

I remember many fond memories of watching the bare tits scene in Doc Hollywood, my favorite NQNQP ;P

MovieBob:
In the days before all manner of deviancy and debauchery was just an InPrivate Browsing window away, curious teenagers had a few more hoops to jump through for procuring what we still somewhat cheekily call adult entertainment. Actual honest-to-Guccione pornography was by no means ha - er, difficult to procure, those deprived by fate of an irresponsible bachelor uncle to steal from would generally turn to so-called softcore (aka Cinemax) nudie-movies. But since even those might turn up in short supply depending on one's situation, the next best thing were the NQPs.

Speaking from experience, are we Bob?

ShadowHamster:
I'm going to take a slightly different stance on this. Bring on the clueless teenagers, insecure parents, and others who will check this out EXPLICITLY for the sex scene, but please, take away their ability to fast forward. I've read the comic and it very VERY well captures the concept of love, and not necessarily in a good light, but in an obsessive rollercoaster ride of life light. It is easily one of the best arguments against "gay love isn't real love" I've seen. I'd put it up with Brokeback Mountain.(which also had a love making scene, but because "DUDES!!!" it made some cringe)

In stories like this, the love is truly forbidden, for the right reasons. You are suddenly caught in the middle of a situtation that is too private, you are locked in what connects two people and makes them come together. I think more of this is good for...society.

I have neither read the comic nor watched the film (yet), but if the movie portraits love as an obsessive rollercoaster, isn't that an argument against love in general and NOT just gay love?

Ooh, a euro-arthouse drama about a lesbian relationship?

How utterly plebian.

Even the lure of girl on girl action won't work on me, because I'm one of those rare dudes who doesn't get his jollies from it.

It sounds like the only reason to watch it is for the one scene, and everything else is pure boredom, but in french.

The quirk of NC-17 being a death sentence is a very american phenomenon. The BBFC (formerly known as one of the stuffiest ratings boards in the world) has passed the film with an "18" rating, a rating that many mainstream films receive and are happy to receive. As all cinemas and stores will carry 18 certificate films no problem. It simply being a french art film will hamper distribution much more than it's rating here in the UK.

The fact that most films that depict any kind of female sexual pleasure are stamped NC-17 when torture porn routinely gets an R no problem is baffling. The simple fact that most places won't stock or show NC-17 films is also a 50s hangover of prudishness. All the while these films are leered at and muttered of in dark corners.

We laughed at Australia for their ratings flaws in video-games but the U.S. has effectively continued censoring wide distribution films all whilst warping the image of European cinema as purveyors of smutt and what we in the UK call "Wank fodder". It's immature and hypocritical.

Machine Man 1992:

It sounds like the only reason to watch it is for the one scene, and everything else is pure boredom, but in french.

Well, according to Bob:

Movie Bob:
Still, it's a bit depressing to see such a good film (and yes, Blue is a very good film in its own right) arrive with this spectacle hovering over it

... the film might actually have some merit. We won't know for sure until we've watched it ourselves, now will we?

The French... I like the way they think.

JamesBr:
I am reminded of the South Park episode where the independent film festival comes to town.

I'm not denigrating the film, it's not a genre I care about, I just find it amusing that people still think "Euro-art-house film about lesbians exploring their relationship" is worth talking about.

Why not? It's a demographic that is vastly underrepresented in media. Right now our biggest problem is visibility, and if something comes along that doesn't turn homosexual characters as a fetish, that's a victory for a demographic.

I've yet to see Brokeback Mountain but it was treated as a big joke, and that breaks my damn heart.

AntiChrist:

MovieBob:
In the days before all manner of deviancy and debauchery was just an InPrivate Browsing window away, curious teenagers had a few more hoops to jump through for procuring what we still somewhat cheekily call adult entertainment. Actual honest-to-Guccione pornography was by no means ha - er, difficult to procure, those deprived by fate of an irresponsible bachelor uncle to steal from would generally turn to so-called softcore (aka Cinemax) nudie-movies. But since even those might turn up in short supply depending on one's situation, the next best thing were the NQPs.

Speaking from experience, are we Bob?

For guys of Bob's age, and men who were kids before Internet porn, finding BOOBIES in things like movies and issues of National Geographic when nudie mags and adult movies on VHS weren't readily available was like a rite of passage. One of his Big Pictures had a segment about that, with boys having to pull off A-Team scale missions to nab a Playboy from whoever's dad or uncle is the most lax about that.

Zydrate:

Why not? It's a demographic that is vastly underrepresented in media. Right now our biggest problem is visibility, and if something comes along that doesn't turn homosexual characters as a fetish, that's a victory for a demographic.

Actually the representation of members of the LGBT community in the media (referring to entertainment here) is about proportional with the portion of that population that exists in real life. Given a rough estimate less than one in twenty people identify as LGBT, so if "Blue is the Warmest Color" seems like a rarity that's because...well, statistically, it should be.

There's nothing wrong with having more, but it doesn't seem fair to say that there being less is a problem.

EDIT: Estimate is according to the US, other countries may differ.

LysanderNemoinis:
Maybe it's just be, but I'm getting tired of every gay romance always being portrayed as this lofty, beautiful, uber-passionate, earth-shatteringly amazing power of the universe, a force no one can stop no matter what. But if the movie featured a straight couple with everything else exactly the same (the camera angles, the dialogue, the sex scenes, etc.) no one would bat an eyelash at it.

Of course that's true, that's so painfully obviously true I can't believe I have to explain it to you. Change the gender of one of the characters and you change the context of every scene, even if Adele insists on calling her burly counterpart Emma it's not fooling the audience. The character is different even if the script is the same, the context is gone, the meaning has changed and the audience is no longer watching the same movie. You've now got a painfully confusing comedy about a girl in deep denial and her unscrupulous paramour abusing her confusion for sex.

LysanderNemoinis:
While I do look forward to googling the scenes in question (because I'm not too up for watching a three hour romance movie, even if it was a straight couple), I get the sense that the sexuality of the protagonists is the only reason why anyone gives a damn about it. And I mean that in a social/political sense, not just because girl on girl is hot.

The way people gripe about controversial artwork you'd think nothing that isn't wholesome can have artistic merit. I don't doubt that there are alot of people who are interested in this film purely to google the scenes because they're too hard-up to pay for porn, but drop the feigned indignation. It's coming off as hollow and insincere.

LysanderNemoinis:
It's this strange not-taboo thing we have going on, where you always hear celebrities coming out and saying they're bi or gay, and the media fawns all over them, declaring them oh so very brave, but none one of them suffer any consequences for it.

With the exception that the media is filled with examples of homosexuals being ostracized by their friends and family for their orientation. Even if we assume that no celebrity has ever been ostracized for being a homosexual, and we do not live in a society tolerate of homosexuals, I fail to see your complaint. So the media congratulates them for coming out, so what? It's good to show gays and lesbians they don't need to stay in the closet. Get over yourself.

LysanderNemoinis:
Yet everyone acts as if these celebrities (or movies like this one) are the next cancer cure because they have the (pardon me for this one) balls to pronounce their gayness.

Do you sincerely believe that it doesn't take balls to announce you're gay?

LysanderNemoinis:
I mean, Neil Patrick Harris is an awesome actor, but nobody paid the poor guy any attention after his child career until he said he was gay.

Are you familiar with his body of work at all? Neil Patrick Harris' adult career hasn't really changed before or after he came-out.

LysanderNemoinis:
And celebs often use their sexuality to increase their popularity and make themselves critic-proof, because if you say something bad about their work, then you're just a homophobe.

Yeah, that doesn't happen.

Thanks for the article and I have another french film to watch. I will have to watch Red/White/Blue to get back into shape for a movie of that length.

I must admit, the principals fighting in the media is a hoot. Which means it might be time to read the (comic) book as well.

Zydrate:

JamesBr:
I am reminded of the South Park episode where the independent film festival comes to town.

I'm not denigrating the film, it's not a genre I care about, I just find it amusing that people still think "Euro-art-house film about lesbians exploring their relationship" is worth talking about.

Why not? It's a demographic that is vastly underrepresented in media. Right now our biggest problem is visibility, and if something comes along that doesn't turn homosexual characters as a fetish, that's a victory for a demographic.

I've yet to see Brokeback Mountain but it was treated as a big joke, and that breaks my damn heart.

Yet it happens often enough that you can make fun of it in a cartoon (years ago, might I add) and people know what you're talking about. I'm not saying the film isn't good, or even that it isn't worthy of attention, I'm saying that an erotic LGTB euro-art film is cliche, no matter how good, and isn't worth getting up in arms over the erotic bits. The article itself is less what the comment was directed at and more the hubbub that caused its response. I agree with the article. Probably could've phrased it better ^^

MovieBob:
Artcore

A drama, 3 ½ hours in length, with the vast majority of that time filled by small groups of characters deep in conversation about relationships, romance, art, literature and philosophy. The entertainment press has elected to promote it in the manner of a carnival peep show. Why?

Err ... a movie that's 3 1/2 hours, of people talking, and there's surprise and astonishment that marketing is trying to titillate the prospective audience with something other than 'it's a movie, 3 1/2 hours long, of people talking'?

Welcome to, I dunno, earth, I guess? o.O

Edit: Don't get me wrong; you can do a 'people talking' film that is pretty awesome, but 3.5 hours?
http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/The_Man_from_Earth/70076096?locale=en-US

JamesBr:
I'm saying that an erotic LGTB euro-art film is cliche,

I, too, am shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!

Fistful of Ebola:

LysanderNemoinis:
Maybe it's just be, but I'm getting tired of every gay romance always being portrayed as this lofty, beautiful, uber-passionate, earth-shatteringly amazing power of the universe, a force no one can stop no matter what. But if the movie featured a straight couple with everything else exactly the same (the camera angles, the dialogue, the sex scenes, etc.) no one would bat an eyelash at it.

Of course that's true, that's so painfully obviously true I can't believe I have to explain it to you. Change the gender of one of the characters and you change the context of every scene, even if Adele insists on calling her burly counterpart Emma it's not fooling the audience. The character is different even if the script is the same, the context is gone, the meaning has changed and the audience is no longer watching the same movie. You've now got a painfully confusing comedy about a girl in deep denial and her unscrupulous paramour abusing her confusion for sex.

Obviously the semantics would be changed around to accommodate the character's heterosexuality. Now the real difference I think is that if the character of Emma were a man, then the movie would end by sending him to jail for statutory rape. :P

AntiChrist:

Machine Man 1992:

It sounds like the only reason to watch it is for the one scene, and everything else is pure boredom, but in french.

Well, according to Bob:

Movie Bob:
Still, it's a bit depressing to see such a good film (and yes, Blue is a very good film in its own right) arrive with this spectacle hovering over it

... the film might actually have some merit. We won't know for sure until we've watched it ourselves, now will we?

Because one sentence, in parentheses no less, is such an endorsement of quality.

You and I both know that one of Bob's biggest fetishes is girl-on-girl. Take what he says with a a mountainous pile of salt.

My favourite film in the genre is a sweedish film called Fucking Åmål. Go see it, it is brilliant.

There was an alternative to arty movies for porn before the internet, don't forget the classic British sex comedies like the "confessions of..." series in the 60s and 70s

I absolutely loved the movie. I wasn't bored or noticed the length at all while I was watching because the actresses are so SO good. I think it's the best acting I've ever seen in a film. Especially Adele is so raw and beautiful to watch, even if she's crying her eyes out. She makes you feel her pain, and bring up those memories from when you've experienced the same pain of a lost love.

It's too bad all the focus is on the sex and the drama surrounding this film, it does a disservice to the best things about it.

Paradoxrifts:
Obviously the semantics would be changed around to accommodate the character's heterosexuality.

That's not so obvious, the quote I responded to stated that nothing would change and went through the trouble to note things like dialogue and camera angles.

Paradoxrifts:
Now the real difference I think is that if the character of Emma were a man, then the movie would end by sending him to jail for statutory rape. :P

Adele (the character, the actress is 19) is 15, this is a French movie taking place in France, the age of consent in France is 15.

well, I'm still surprised foreign films with subtitles are not a niche thing in the US (or is it only for palmes d'or?)
There never was such controversy about the sex scenes here in France, though one of the actress complained that the director was too rough on her during the shooting, which develloped in a entire new controversy. I haven't seen the movie yet but really want to.
For your information the movie is rated for people above 12 here (we have ratings for 12, 16, and 18 yo here, 18 being either extremely rare for "regular" films broadcasted in theaters, or reserved for pornography obvisouly not broadcasted in regular theaters.)

Scrumpmonkey:
The quirk of NC-17 being a death sentence is a very american phenomenon. The BBFC (formerly known as one of the stuffiest ratings boards in the world) has passed the film with an "18" rating, a rating that many mainstream films receive and are happy to receive. As all cinemas and stores will carry 18 certificate films no problem. It simply being a french art film will hamper distribution much more than it's rating here in the UK.

The fact that most films that depict any kind of female sexual pleasure are stamped NC-17 when torture porn routinely gets an R no problem is baffling. The simple fact that most places won't stock or show NC-17 films is also a 50s hangover of prudishness. All the while these films are leered at and muttered of in dark corners.

We laughed at Australia for their ratings flaws in video-games but the U.S. has effectively continued censoring wide distribution films all whilst warping the image of European cinema as purveyors of smutt and what we in the UK call "Wank fodder". It's immature and hypocritical.

Actually here in France the 18 rating used to be only for pornography. The hardest rating used to be 16 for regular movies. They had to bring back the regular 18 rating I think because of the movie "Martyrs" (Pascal Laugier, which I recommand by the way), which had extended scenes of torture.

Evil Smurf:
My favourite film in the genre is a sweedish film called Fucking Åmål. Go see it, it is brilliant.

I absolute adore that movie <3 Mainly because I can recognise quite a bit of myself in both main characters :P

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