Scroll To Top

Off-Screen Drama Persists in Lead Up to "Lesbian Brokeback"

Off-Screen Drama Persists in Lead Up to "Lesbian Brokeback"

Outspoken director Abdellatif Kechiche changes his mind on whether to release his critically acclaimed film.

In yet another dramatic turn, Blue is the Warmest Color director Abdellatif Kechiche, is continuing to add as much drama to the actual release of the film, as he did to the script itself. Last week, the Palme D’or winner–best of Cannes director-surprisingly reneged on his statement proclaiming that the film should not be released due to the recent controversy surrounding the film, and in particular his treatment of the lead actors. 

Blue is the Warmest Color, an epic lesbian-themed love story that is set for release on October 25, was a hot topic at the 51st New York Film Festival this past weekend. However, as much as the film is gaining notoriety with critics, it’s also enduring a very public dispute between actor and director.

In a September interview given to French publication Télérama, Kechiche went on the record as saying, "I think this film should not go out; it was too sullied. He added that because Seydoux and Exarchopoulos spoke to the press about feeling humiliated and embarrassed while shooting the sex scenes, that audiences will not be able to view the film without prejudice, asserting that prior knowledge will prevent audiences from "entering the room with a clean heart and a watchful eye."

However, in a separate interview given to Indiewire this week, Kechiche has abruptly changed course. "It was a remark that just came out when I had the feeling the film wasn't going to be seen the way I thought it should be seen," he told the online filmakers blog. "It was a remark that was blurted out at that moment, but it's not what I really think...I was just afraid that was what was going on around the film would prevent people from seeing it for what it really was."

The film, based on Julia Maroh’s graphic novel, the film version of Blue runs nearly three hours and includes lengthy and unbridled lesbian sex scenes. It also includes a frighteningly real fight scene between the young lovers played by Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux (Farewell My Queen, Midnight in Paris).

In an interview this summer with The Daily Beast, Seydoux and Exarchopoulos expounded on the grueling five-month shoot, referring to Kechiche a “genius,” albeit tortured.  Furthermore, on a shoot that included 10 days of filming sex scenes, the young actress claimed there was a “kind of manipulation, which was hard to handle,” and went on to say she’d never work the director again, according to The Daily Beast.

Kechiche fired back at his stars, particularly at 28-year-old Seydoux -- whose prominent family owns Pathé, the world-renowned film equipment and production company that was founded in 1896 -- essentially calling her privileged and spoiled.

Even as the controversy was ratcheting up last month, Seydoux, again when speaking with SheWired, said that the shooting was “horrible” and that she felt “disrespected” on the set.  Despite the grueling shoot for Blue, however, Seydoux went on to say that, “I’m not a victim; I wanted to do this film. It was hard.” 

With just over a week to go before the release of the film, there is certainly more off-screen drama set to unfold, especially if either Kechiche or Seydoux sit down for another interview. And sadly, there still may exist an opportunity for the two to “sully” their own film, which many critics are now claiming is nothing short of a masterpiece, and the “Lesbian answer to Brokeback Mountain.

Follow SheWired on Facebook 

Like SheWired on Twitter 

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

author avatar

Michael Regula