french films > Man's Gentle Love

Man's Gentle Love

Man's Gentle Love

cast: Renaud Bécart, Claire Perot

year: 2003

colour: yes

certificate: 15

director: Jean-Paul Civeyrac

runtime: 83

"Raoul moves from one woman to the next in search of unattainable love. One day he meets Jeanne, who has chosen a free and tragic life. He saves her from drowning. A relationship quickly develops between them, but then Jeanne suddenly disappears. Raoul convinces himself that he loves her and waits for her to return, while his friends desperately try to talk him out of it. When Jeanne turns up again, his enthusiasm has waned, but he refuses to stop believing in his love. However, Jeanne allows herself to be swept away by Raoul. Jean-Paul Civeyrac says : “The film is based on the work of Jean de Tinan. This writer and dandy, who died in 1898 at the age of 24, described himself through the character of Raoul, a poet and night owl incapable of feeling true love. Tinan called this ‘emotional impotence’. While making this film, I discovered how difficult it is to convey to an audience the impression that someone has cold, negative feelings or even none whatsoever... I wanted to achieve two things with my film: “Firstly, I wanted to conjure up a sensuous atmosphere, all the more important because the film was about the inability to feel. Secondly, I wanted to develop a light, flowing, fast, classic style (in which the viewer noticed neither my efforts nor the effects). After all, the film deals with important feelings (namely, the inner loneliness felt when one cannot find love). The film was to be accessible and have elements of something I like most about the cinema: lyricism, though with austerity rather than pathos." (Ciné-Lumière/Institut Français)

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