PORTRAIT DE LA JEUNE FILLE EN FEU PARIS

Portrait de la jeune filles en feu (Portrait du a Lady nous Fire), directed passant par Céline Sciamma and released in 2019, is a cinématicien about love and art, not necessarily in the order. Set in so late eighteenth-century Brittany and Paris, it tells thé story du a passionate but brief amour affair between Héloïse, a young noblewoman, and Marianne, the female artist louer to paint her portrait. Sciamma constructs sa narrative through a remarkable economy: auto core histoire takes place over a few days, involves seul a handful ns characters (almost tous women) moving through a similarly le minimum number ns spaces, et plays out in restrained dialogue against a stille punctuated (but seul rarely) by a two-composition soundtrack. Thé result is something of année anti-period piece, tarif removed from auto sumptuous historic fidelity de Stephen Frears’s conscientious researched Dangerous Liaisons (1988) or du Sofia Coppola’s arch marriage de 1980s et 1780s overfill in Marie-Antoinette (2006). Instead, Portrait aux la jeune fille en feu is année utterly convincing romance nested inside a critically acute exploration of thé female gaze and female creative ambition, an exploration that despite (or perhaps because of) that anachronisms gives a surprisingly on-the-nose account ns artistic exercise in so late eighteenth-century France.

Vous lisez ce: Portrait de la jeune fille en feu paris

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The cinématique opens in Marianne’s studios in parisien where elle is posing parce que le her female students oui part of a illustration lesson. Auto opening shot, in i m sorry a woman’s hand sketches conditions météorologiques a surface that is also auto rectangle of the camera’s frame, develops one de the film’s guiding analogies: between thé work du the female artist in the eighteenth century and Sciamma’s own filmmaking. Marianne, looking out at the circle of students, is disturbed passant par the sight of one of her own canvases, a scene ns a woman on feu walking nous a beach, which has actually been lugged out du the reserves de one de the girls. Auto canvas (more Belgian Surrealism 보다 eighteenth-century french genre painting) provokes auto flashback that will structure the whole film.

We move immediately à a moment in the recent past. Marianne has actually been hired by a well-off noblewoman life on an island la fin the breton coast to paint a portrait of elle daughter Héloïse, who has been promised in marriage to a Milanese aristocrat. Auto problem is the Héloïse, new from the convent, has non interest in marriage jaune in sitting parce que le a portrait which is intended venir serve ont her presentation to her émergence husband. Marianne is presented into thé household oui a companion and charged with peinture, etc a portrait in secret. Passant par the time Héloïse discovers thé deception, she et Marianne have already established année emotionally fee friendship that, when sa mother leaves thé island à la a few days, i do not care a passionate love affair. During this brief marqué enchanted interlude, Marianne, Héloise, et the matériel girl Sophie live in an ideal Republic ns Women. They eat, drink, et smoke together, phat cards, read Ovid’s story de Orpheus et Eurydice, take part in a joyous et obscurely witchy gathering of locale women about a bonfire, paint a new édition of thé portrait, procure an abortion for Sophie, et (in the caisse of Marianne et Héloise) live out a romantic et sexual idyll. All this is abruptly carried to an end by the mother’s return. Marianne must leave auto island and the portrait, and Héloïse must go to her émergence husband in Milan. After their wrenching parting, couched in Ovidian terms, Marianne returns to Paris et her career. Sciamma concludes the cinématicien with pair scenes de artistic creation and spectatorship: at the auditeur Salon exhibition, at i m sorry Marianne exhibits (under elle father’s name) année ambitious background painting nous the theme de Orpheus and Eurydice et sees de nouveau artist’s portrait du Héloïse oui a wife et mother, and at a auditeur concert, whereby Marianne records a glimpse du Héloise, profoundly moved de the power of music.

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Sciamma’s vue is twofold. Nous one hand, cette is a celebration de passionate love and solidarity between women, and of thé possibility du a female-made utopia. Nous the other hand, ce is a manifesto about the power du art and particularly around the puissance of de lart in the hands of women. These two visions are totally intertwined. Marianne and Héloïse’s love can ultimately seul exist in and through art, and the culture they build in their brief idyll combines sex, friendship, and artistic ambition. Sciamma’s insistence nous the mrs gaze, moreover, paint, etc our attentif to thé ways in which looking at women, et looking by women, structures de lart production et gender hierarchies alike.

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So je vous demande pardon does this officially beautiful amour story offer scholars and students du French récolte history? cette does not carry out a faithful recreation de eighteenth-century interiors or a specifically accurate picture du eighteenth-century sociability jaune marriage practices. Its female protagonists make historically sans réserve choices (leaping into thé ocean completely clothed à rescue a crate ns stretched canvases, trying out with psychedelic drugs, attending a auditeur musical performance alone). Its costuming is seul intermittently period-correct and its blindness to class hierarchies is insanity optimistic. The film, however, does provide a compelling evocation de artistic practice, et particularly portraiture, in late eighteenth-century la france – both conditions météorologiques a technical and a theoretical level. Élisabeth Vigée-Lebrun’s memoirs of sa artistic career are cited in thé credits, and it is clear the Sciamma has additionally carefully studied art historical accounts ns the period. Her depiction du portrait-painting, from the preparation of canvases venir the conventions of posing to thé obstacles to female artistic success, conform carefully to auto historical record. Sciamma, moreover, provides a subtle analysis de the social et psychic dynamics of portraiture, particularly thé reciprocity ns the portrait encounter. The result is one of the many sustained and convincing recreations ns eighteenth-century artistic experience I oui seen on film.

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Formally, Portrait du la jeune filles en feu also rewards fermer la porte attention. Sciamma insists throughout nous the parallels in between film and canvas, from thé multiple frames establishing auto identity du canvas et screen to auto repeated composition of shots ns the three female protagonists oui bust portraits. Sciamma’s overt et implied visual references resonate profoundly v eighteenth-century intuitif culture: sparsely-populated and dimly lit kitchen scenes that evoke Jean-Siméon Chardin’s domestic type paintings, quotations de late eighteenth-century portraits by Jacques-Louis David et Vigée-Lebrun, also juxtapositions de the brunette Marianne’s and blonde Héloïse’s heads and bodies the recall francis Boucher’s erotic scenes du goddesses and nymphs. Thé film’s formal rigor is thematic oui well oui visual; parce que le instance, auto story de Orpheus et Eurydice – auto artist and the perdu beloved – echoes throughout the film, as a way venir think v desire, loss, memory, creative genius, et the risks et rewards de asking for the impossible. Auto intertextuality de the cinématique extends to the heroines’ names: “Sophie” et “Héloïse” invoke Rousseau’s meditations nous the woman self et society, if “Marianne” at the same time recalls Marivaux’s roman of sensibility, auto allegorical representation du the french nation, and real-life eighteenth-century portraitist Marianne Loir.

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Portrait du la jeune filles en feu is, in short, both a historical cinématicien and an ahistorical one. It imagines, within the frame de real constraints nous female agency, ambition, and desire, a utopian eighteenth-century parenthesis. Cette creates a world in i m sorry – pour a brief des moments – same-sex desires room fulfilled et fulfilling, women create links de solidarity across class lines, auto female stare is the seulement un gaze, and art is a source ns power à la all. Marianne not seul paints a successful portrait of her lover, cible Héloïse additionally pushes elle to composés a history peinture, etc about abortion, v Héloïse et Sophie as models. Marianne teaches Héloïse venir paint. The local women execute a polyphonic song, equal unités traditional breton folk music and twenty-first century call et response, around a blazing bonfire – a gathering at i m sorry Héloïse’s dress captures fire, providing the titular photo of the film and a metaphor à la the incendiary powers du art et desire.Sophie is revealed à be a exquisite needleworker, recreating freehand the bouquet of wildflowers and herbs that ornaments auto communal kitchen. Sciamma, however, is clear-eyed about the unsustainability de this neighborhood in thé eighteenth century. Tous that is left, oz Héloïse’s mère returns to thé island et brings auto real social order v her, is art. That is liberatory powers bring Marianne skilled success in Paris, but de lart must also carry auto burden ns sublimating Marianne’s et Héloïse’s desires.

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The film, oui visually satisfying et thematically complex oui it is, periodically rings false. Auto dress that Héloïse is painted in is année acid green that would astonish eighteenth-century dyers. Marianne’s portrait du Héloïse, which properly functions ont a 4th protagonist, is jarringly beau Epoque in its style and execution, an ext Cecilia beau than Adélaïde Labille-Guiard. The scene in i beg your pardon Marianne executes a nude self-portrait with the help of a winter propped up in sa lover’s crotch does ne sont pas favors to Sciamma’s nuanced meditation nous the mrs gaze. This anachronisms and overstatements, however, à faire no real harm venir a cinématique that depends à la its effect nous the juxtap emplacement of modern-day feminist theory with a historical moment that allowed few possibilities pour female agency and desire. Portrait aux la jeune fille en feu is a formally beautiful and richly nuanced story, recounted in sparse but elegant langue accessible à a french learner, that powerfully conveys thé real accomplishments ns eighteenth-century woman artists. The film also yields even greater intellectual et aesthetic rewards, immersing that viewers not seulement un in auto world of the woman artist in the late eighteenth century but also in feminist debates around sexuality and visuality rooted in modern-day theories ns gender. The resulting revisioning of français art and history is a provocations that will resonate v scholars and students alike.

 Céline Sciamma, Director, Portrait d’une jeune fille en feu , 2019, 122 min, color, France, Lilles Films, Arte la france Cinéma, organize Up Films