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In a new interview, Blue Is the Warmest Color director Abdellatif Kechiche admits that his Palme d’Or win at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival was only a “brief moment of happiness.” He now believes the film should not even be released.
“I think this film should not go out; it was too sullied,” Kechiche tells Telerama, responding to a chaotic press tour that lead to allegations of his abusive on-set behavior. He says during the months after taking home Cannes’ top prize, he “felt humiliated, disgraced. I felt a rejection of me; I live like a curse.”
A lengthy sex scene between stars Lea Seydoux and Adele Exarchopoulos was the subject of scrutiny from the very first screening. During the Toronto International Film Festival, Exarchopoulos was outspoken about her experience shooting the scene, leading to a maelstrom of controversy.
“He warned us that we had to trust him — blind trust — and give a lot of ourselves,” Exarchopoulos said at a press conference in early September. “He was making a movie about passion, so he wanted to have sex scenes, but without choreography — more like special sex scenes.”
Now, Kechiche frets that a picture has been painted of his three-hour relationship drama that prevents audiences from “entering the room with a clean heart and a watchful eye.” Anyone who has heard the buzz won’t be able to look past it. “In advance, they will ask: ‘Did this man not harass the girls? Did they not cherish [the experience], too, and they do not dare say it?” he tells the magazine.
At this month’s press conference, Seydoux told audiences that the film was one of the most fulfilling experiences of her acting career — a bit of hope that cuts through the bog of drama. “I have given a year of my life to this film. I had no life during this shoot. I gave everything. I have not criticized the director. … It was my dream to work with him because, in France, he is one of the best directors.”
Blue Is the Warmest Color will be released uncut and with an NC-17 rating on Oct. 25.
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