Despite some warranted detractors targeting Abdellatif Kechiche’s male gaze in Blue in the Warmest Color, his romantic drama had no problems picking up the Palme d’Or back at Cannes a few years ago. He’s now back with his new film, Mektoub, My Love: Canto Uno, but the same sort of acclaim hasn’t returned.
The first in a potential series tracking the life of a young screenwriter who heads to the Mediterranean, many critics out of its Venice premiere lambasted the director over his masturbatory sensibilities. While we’ll have to wait to see it for ourselves when it picks up U.S. distribution, the first teaser has landed.
If you’re looking for a different take, despite most reactions swaying mixed-negative, Film Comment said, “You wince at the camera’s undisguised lechery, but the sheer exuberance knocks you over. Mektoub, My Love is perhaps the most unrestrained contribution yet to the long-running cycle of French art films about young people and what they did on their holidays: it’s like Adieu Philippine meets Girls Gone Wild.”
See the teaser below.
Update: Teaser removed at the request of the producers. We’ll update when it returns.
Amin, an aspiring screenwriter living in Paris, returns home for the summer, to a fishing village in the South of France. It is a time of reconnecting with his family and his childhood friends. Together with his cousin Tony and his best friend Ophélie, he spends his time between the Tunisian restaurant run by his parents, the local bars and the beaches frequented by girls on holiday. Enchanted by the many female characters who surround him, Amin remains in awe of these summer sirens while his dionysiac cousin throws himself into their carnal delights with euphoria. Armed with his camera and guided by the bright simmer light of the Mediterranean coast, Amin pursues his philosophical quest while gathering inspiration for his screenplays. When it comes to love, only Mektoub (‘destiny in Arabic’) can decide. This coming-of-age saga set in 1994 casts a nostalgic glow on the wonders of youth.
Mektoub, My Love: Canto Uno premiered at Venice and is seeking U.S. distribution.