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L'Amour Fou, the long-awaited documentary chronicling the relationship of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé will officially debut Stateside tonight at the Tribeca Film Festival. The movie opens in New York on May 13th, Los Angeles on May 20th, and in select cities around the countries after that.
This afternoon, we sat in on an advanced screening of the film. It was incredibly moving, surprisingly sentimental, and revealed a great deal more about Bergé than we could have predicted or expected.
What, you think our cold little icicle hearts would write a headline like that for nothing?
The documentary—which is primarily in French—opens with original footage of the press conference where Yves Saint Laurent declared that he was retiring from the fashion industry. The film then cuts directly from this speech to the eulogy delivered by Pierre Bergé at Saint Laurent's funeral—a segment of this can be seen in the trailer.
Director Pierre Thoretton had originally approached Bergé six months after Saint Laurent's death, with the intention of shooting a documentary about the pair's famously grandiose and luxurious homes in Paris and Marrakech. Instead, after discovering his hours of home decor footage had turned out "completely boring," Thoretton refocused the documentary on "the intimacy of their lives together," he says through a translator.
This—the clear connection between material goods and the emotions tied up in them—makes perfect sense in the film. Along with an autobiographical/biographical narrative—mostly by Bergé himself, either on-camera or in voiceover, with the occasional on-camera interview with Betty Catroux and LouLou de la Falaise, two of Saint Laurent's favorite models and closest friends—chronicling Saint Laurent's career and the couple's life together, the documentary follows Bergé as he prepares to put all his and Saint Laurent's worldly possessions up for auction.
"The collection was the result of their life together," Thoretton says about Bergé through a translator. "To live among these objects kept bringing him back to moments and memories in the relationship."
Though he's incredibly stoic and serious throughout the filming, it's heartbreaking to watch Bergé go through the process of disassembling the couple's home, forfeiting iconic pieces of art—albeit, in some cases, for millions and millions of dollars ($26 million, in one case) at auction.
"Losing someone with whom you've lived with—ups and downs through the years—for 50 years, whose eyes you closed," Bergé says in the film, "It's different than seeing objets d'art leave."
Verdict: If you love Yves Saint Laurent and/or if you believe in true love. Or if you just want to see a beautiful story about a brilliant couple told, first-hand, on screen. Go see L'Amour Fou. But bring tissues if you cry easily—there are definitely moments where we would have completely lost it if we weren't sitting in a room with other editors.
· The movie poster for L'Amour Fou [Racked]
· L'Amour Fou will be screened Stateside at the Tribeca Film Festival [Racked]