L'Amour Fou 

The life and influence of fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent is recalled

click to enlarge lamourfou_25.jpg
Pierre Bergé, the business and romantic partner of French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, narrates this account of their five decades together. But this film, directed by Pierre Thoretton, is less a bio-doc than an elegiac reflection upon Saint Laurent -- his influential career, his triumphs and torments, and the objet d'art-filled life he shared with Bergé. For a framework, Thoretton uses the occasion of the 2009 auction of the couple's artwork amassed over the years. As Bergé ruminates on both the personal and the professional, the camera soaks in various sumptuous interiors (the couple had a number of homes in France and a getaway in Marrakesh); later, dispassionate workmen dismantle priceless artwork, while Bergé dismisses its sentimental power. Without Yves, it seems, the art has lost its sparkle. Some familiarity with Saint Laurent's professional accomplishments is helpful: There is archival footage from the 1950s, but little explanation. But there's an aspect of intimacy to this work, underscored not only by Bergé's reminiscences but by the profusion of household items profiled, that nonetheless draws one in. In French, with subtitles. Starts Fri., June 24. Harris


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