Here’s an interesting interview conducted by Damon Smith of Filmmaker Magazine of our youngest auteur of the quarter Xavier Dolan, whose HEARTBEATS opens here on Friday.
A native of Montreal, Dolan is a former child actor who wrote and directed his first film, I Killed My Mother, at age 20, after dropping out of university. That movie, a semi-autobiographical tale of coming out which debuted at Cannes in the Un Certain Regard sidebar, won three awards at the 2009 festival, including the Regards Jeune given to young filmmakers of great promise.
A stylized depiction of hopelessly “imaginary” love, Xavier Dolan’s sophomore feature Heartbeats (which also premiered at Cannes) trails a pair of close friends—witty, Audrey Hepburn manqué Marie (Monia Chokri) and sweet-faced Francis (Dolan)—who simultaneously crush out on tousle-haired Nicolas (Niels Schneider), a dreamy new acquaintance whose Adonis-like physical beauty and bedroom-ready manner drive them into a passive-aggressive rivalry for his affection. Although the love-triangle motif evokes films as diverse as Jules et Jim and Y tu mamá también, Dolan’s dazzling slo-mo fantasy sequences (especially those featuring Dalida’s exquisite version of “Bang Bang”) and sassy, Almodóvar-esque color schemes give everything a uniquely farcical edge.
Filmmaker spoke with Dolan about Woody Allen, bad reviews, and why style is sometimes more important than substance. (more)