“Love” Press Conference, Movie Review (Cannes)

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“People should just fly to France and see it here.”

Marjolein Keijser

Marjolein Keijser

France is often associated with love and sensuality, just think of the French kiss — check out our post about kissing! — ‘Voulez-vous coucher avec moi’ and soixante-neuf. And although things are not as out in the open as in Amsterdam, I have seen some pretty crazy stuff around here. The other day, I saw a guy driving around on his scooter while he was wanking! And when I visited the gorgeous island, Sainte Marguerite, just a 10-minute boat ride from Cannes, I was pleasantly surprised by a naked girl, lying on a tree trunk being photographed by a bunch of old guys. “Ah, so this is where all the pin-ups have gone to!” I thought (there used to be loads of pin-ups during the festival, flaunting their curves on the beach,) but it turned out to be a photography club that hired a nude model. Even though the pin-ups have disappeared from Cannes, sex has not. The most controversial film this year is “Love” by Gaspar Noé who previously made Irréversible and Enter The Void. Last year he said:

“With my next film, I really hope men may have hard-ons and women can get wet.”

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The teaser poster was definitely kinky, and the unofficial poster that ‘accidentally’ went viral was plain porn. GrungeCake attended the press conference and the screening of Love.

How is it to be the director of the first pornographic film in 3D to be selected for the Cannes Film Festival?

Gaspar Noé: Cannes is fun, but Cannes also scared me. The film talks about being in love, but in the sexual sense. Everybody can relate to that, everybody likes love. Some of the things you see [GrungeCake: the sex scenes] are fake and artificial, but we wanted it to be well presented. I have chosen 3D because there’s something childlike about it, like a game, and I wanted to add something new and playful to the film.

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Vincent Maraval (producer): Initially, we said we would shoot in 3D as a joke, but it turned out we could get state funding if we made a 3D movie, so we did.

I understood that the main character was based on you, but he’s not very likable, he’s jealous and narcissistic.

Gaspar Noé: Well, thank you for the compliment. The main character is a mix of several people, including my friends and me. How people depend on the situation, the kindest person can turn into a monster. In the end, all characters in the film are ordinary human beings. The main character resembles me, in his love for film posters.

Was it hard to find the cast?

Gaspar Noé: I found Karl through a mutual friend. We Skyped and he came to France. I had a great time with him. Aomi and Klara I met in a club, Klara didn’t even remember who I was when I called. I don’t believe in casting agencies, often people who think they can act can’t and people who are not even actors can.

How was it, for the actors, to be naked in front of the camera?

Klara Kristin (actress): When I was younger, I was very insecure about showing my naked body, even to my mother. But at some point I just thought: What the fuck, it’s my body!

Karl Glusman (actor): The first day of shooting, they wanted a close up of my genitals. All I wanted to do was get back to the airport and the U.S., but then my movie career would have been very short. At first, it is strange to be surrounded by so many people when you are naked, but you get used to it.

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Why is sex being shown so explicitly? It can be found everywhere.

Gaspar Noé: I made a movie about love, the physical connection with others. That’s what makes it different.

I write for The Indian Telegraph and want everybody in India to see it, but I am afraid it will be censored.

Gaspar Noé: I wasn’t aware of this censorship [in] India, although I wouldn’t have been able to do this in America either. Sexuality in European cinema is easier because people are more open-minded. People should just fly to France and see it here.

Have the personal relationships of the actors been affected by the movie?

Klara Kristin: Yes, my relationship has been affected by the movie, but also because of the busy work schedule.

Karl Glusman: My mother was very proud and not exactly a virgin, the first time we met.

Aomi Muyock (actress): My friends are very happy for me and have to choose for themselves if they want to watch the movie.

Gaspar Noé: My father is here in Cannes with me. The parents of the actors were welcome too, but were otherwise engaged.


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Review

After the press conference, I was curious to see if Love was actually as much about love as Noé had said, but 3D porn and getting wet didn’t sound bad either. To my surprise, the movie really is a love story, be it a destructive one. Although Love is supposed to be about a threesome, it’s mainly about a boy and a girl who are in an unhealthy relationship. The acting is very good, especially Aomi Muyock is enchanting. The sex is explicit but not very interesting, and the 3D didn’t really add anything for me. If you are hoping for porn, better just watch porn. The soundtrack is great and consists of Noé’s favourite music including Funkadelic, Mirwais, and Erik Satie. Love is an interesting movie to watch, but it’s not the sex I’ll remember, but the gripping love story. In the end, I did leave the theatre wet, wet with tears…

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