sound turned low: a movie blog

"it's like black and white tv with the sound turned low" -- rumble fish

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Looks of Love: La Belle Personne

Y'know, not to get overly pretentious or anything, but Hector Berlioz once described Beethoven's Mondschein Sonata as "one of those poems that human language does not know how to qualify." Why am I bringing this up? Because it's exactly how I feel about film and specifically certain scenes that show you the exact moment a person falls in love.

Christophe Honoré is quickly taking over Francois Ozon's position as my favourite French director. My favourite of his is obviously Les Chansons D'Amour, but I really enjoyed La Belle Personne recently.

While Ozon works with better scripts, Honoré manages to include little moments of feeling that you don't see anywhere else. Also, I love how he's just doing his own thang; in both Dans Paris and La Belle Personne he lets characters put on a record and he simply forces a certain tune on the audience for about three minutes.

So my love for Honoré might also have to do with the fact that he cast Louis Garrel in nearly all of his films and I might just have a teeny-tiny crush on Garrel. What can I say, I have a thing for noses.

In La Belle Personne, Garrel plays an Italian teacher who falls in love with a 16-year-old student (the stunning Léa Seydoux) who just transferred to his school. She's actually the lead in the film but other than the fact that she cries a lot and everyone falls in love with her, I didn't get much from her character. Garrel is deliciously pervy in the way he looks at her -- only in France!

Here's my favourite scene from the film, where he asks her to read a poem in Italian in class and then translate it. The way she makes eye contact at him when she says "parce que je t'aime", and his mouth twitches into a sneaky smile, then she says it later in the poem and he smiles again? Oh, you slay me, Garrel.


  1. this sounds so intriguing. I will definitely have to check it out!

  2. it's not heavy on the plot, but there's some beautiful visuals in there (and a great soundtrack, with nick drake and chansons!)