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Saturday, April 3, 2010

l'épine dans le coeur

michel gondry's (eternal sunshine of the spotless mind, be kind rewind, the science of sleep) "a thorn in the heart" or “l'épine dans le coeur” is a nostalgic film portrait of the director's aunt suzette- a gray haired woman, funny, youthful, and an avante garde school teacher in 1950's rural villamagne, france. sometimes lacking in direction, the film unfolds through interviews and home movies,thematically focused on suzette's teaching career, and later segues into a very personal depiction of the gondry family's series of experiences, including her son's (jean-yves) homosexuality, who still to this day has a difficult time accepting his own identity due to his mother's unorthodox upbringing.

suzette, as mentioned before, was a respected progressive school teacher, who happened to have both michel and her own son in her classes from the 1st to 3rd grade. the irony is in the entirety of her interest towards her pupils' social and academic development, which is undeniably motherly and nurturing, while the treatment of her own son is precisely the opposite: more a teacher-pupil relationship than a mother-son one. this inevitably affects jean-yves' acceptance of his sexuality during his adulthood and, as a result, he grows up to isolate himself.

the film was undeniably beautiful in the sense that the technique was ably executed, even though a friend disagreed and thought the editing was somewhat poorly done. gondry’s captivating soundtrack choice, used more to indicate chronology as opposed to the conventional technique of provoking emotion, was perfectly effective in contrast to the organic, whimsical and melancholic delivery. the opening scene where suzette's family sat at the dining table, laughing and reminiscing, was one of the best scenes, as was the one with her sitting on the couch, teary-eyed while watching some parts of the documentary as the camera focused fully on her facial expressions for a substantial duration. the movie's ending was remarkably shown in saturated hues of a snowy day. it made up for the sense of uneasiness that I felt towards the rest of the film. it was such a subjective topic, so personal on both suzette and the director's part, that it was an effort to connect to the movie and be drawn into it. nonetheless, it was absolutely worth seeing, like an exhibit you would not particulary praise, but one which surely has the intensity to make you respond.

What can i do? ^_^

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