The newest film from the Argentinian-born French director Gaspar Noé, the 3D melodrama Love, premiered at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival to quite a divisive response. Following a love story involving three individuals, it was thought to garner attention for its explicit sex scenes in the film, but we said in our review it “doesn’t say nor show anything new.”
Regardless of what audiences think of it when it arrives,tThis is not the director’s first rodeo with controversy as almost every one of his films has, in some way or another, shocked certain sections. Attending the Cannes press conference for the film was producers Vincent Maraval and Edouard Weil, actors Karl Glusman, Klara Kristin and Aomi Muyock and, of course, the director. We’ve highlight the best sections and they can be seen below, following by the full press conference.
On the explicit nature of the film and presenting it in Cannes
Noe began by expressing his joy at being at the festival: “Being in Cannes is a lot of fun. I spent twenty hours a day shooting the film and the fact that it’s in Cannes scared me. I thought I better do six months worth of work in one month.” On the explicit nature of the film he began by talking about the financial reality of the “porn” label and how it differs from it, saying, “We sold the project as a mellow pornographic film and I thought it would sell like hotcakes. But Vincent told me as soon as you say pornographic people get scared. I read lots of pornographic books and watched lots of films when I was young, but the film talks about being in love, from a sexual stance.” He further explained: “And of course to represent sex it’s hard to not do a film with genitalia, with what is real, what is fake. We have seen Lars Von Trier‘s film in which things loom larger than life. There are all sorts of things in my film, things that are real, that are artificial. Basically what is riveting is what you see in the images. We wanted to make sure the love scenes and the feeling of being in love were well represented. I wanted to show feelings. I have never been raped, I have never suffered from incest like some of my characters and being in love is kind of an amazing thing to portray — this has happened to me.”
On utilizing 3D
Noe explained his reasoning behind why exactly he shot the film in 3D: “There is something childish about 3D. It’s like a game. It’s hard to beat Enter the Void in terms of filming but I thought, what is the next game that might be fun? The idea of making a film showing these very erotic scenes, that didn’t excite me; I’ve done movies that show that kind of image, but I thought, ‘what can I do that will amuse me? What new language can I find?’ I took lots of photos with 3D cameras, and standard cameras and even video cameras, which you see in the film – it cost 500 euros – and this camera produces really troubling images when you see it in 3D because it looks more real than real life. I even saw pictures of my mother using this technique and I find it difficult to look at them because they are so moving.”
On whether the film is transgressive
Noe explained that, to him, the film was not really transgressive in any way: “I don’t have the feeling there is any transgression in the film. I don’t see any transgression in terms of my life and what I love in cinema; Pasolini, Buñuel and many have gone this way. All I did was use a small 3D camera. There is nothing in the film that hasn’t been seen elsewhere. Perhaps, however, it is the way I went about it. The film was shot with a tiny little budget. We used 3D cameras and maybe the fact that it is filmed in 3D makes it look like it’s a film from Hollywood, and it’s in English to boot, like a major production. But that’s not the case: we shot it really fast and I don’t think it is a form of transgression in any way. In fact everything is very joyful.” To a certain degree, his point is valid. Considering the proliferation of sexually explicit images, the fact that it is not talked about is more a reflection on societal expectations or norms than the film being transgressive. However it is understandable why it could be perceived otherwise as explicit sex is still somehow taboo in certain markets.
On why he shot the sex scenes explicitly
“I made a film about life,” Noe says. “Why not address these aspects? They are part of the most wonderful moments, so why not show them? It’s strange. The sex scenes don’t last that long. Think about the physical attachment you feel towards other people, you forget quite quickly about the actual love-making or sex but what you remember is how deeply you are attached to the person. It doesn’t matter what the sexual preference of the person is, but why shouldn’t one show these things on the screen? I was making a film about love; it wasn’t about Swiss banks or scientology. The film is called Love so why not film these things?”
On whether the film affected the personal relations of the actors
Kristin began by saying, “Of course it is not easy to be in a relationship when you do this kind of movie. And I think making movies is a hard thing for your relationship because, for two months, you are with a crew and with them 12 hours a day. Of course there is a lack of focus on your boyfriend or girlfriend. It’s hard to not be able to give 100% of your focus to your boyfriend.”
Glusman, for his part, gave a short statement saying: “Well, as far as personal life and family life I will say this: my mother was not a virgin when I met her. So she is very proud, especially because the film is playing at such a prestigious festival.” As for his first scene, he says, “Gaspar had decided to start with a close up of my genitals.”
Muyock spoke last stating that, “I think my friends are happy for me. They see me happy and, for some of them, it will be strange to see me in this kind of situation but they can choose to watch it or not. When you love someone you are just happy they are happy.”
On the fact that the film will probably be banned for those under 18
“I think it will be banned for those under 16,” the director said when asked about its July 15th release in France. “I’m not entirely sure. If I was part of the committee I would set an age limit at 16 or 12 maybe. There is nothing nasty in the film.” As for the U.S. distributors, Alchemy, they are attempting to deliver it uncut and likely unrated.”However, Noe says, “This movie could never have been done in America. It’s easier to show scenes of sensuality in European cinema. The people are more open-minded. Americans, when it comes to film distribution, can be very square.”
Love premiered at Cannes Film Festival and will be released by Alchemy. Watch the full press conference and an interview above and our complete coverage below.