October 19, 2013

Camille Claudel 1915 (2013)

Camille Claudel 1915 (2013) - Movie Review
Directed by: Bruno Dumont
Country: France

Movie Review: French filmmaker Bruno Dumont is back with a total different film but not less disturbing as his previous “La Humanit√©”, “Hadewijch”, or “Outside Satan”. As the title suggests, this is a biopic that intends to describe sculptor Camille Claudel’s life in the year of 1915, when she was incarcerated in an asylum located in the outskirts of Avignon, after ten years of confinement in her atelier with fear that her works could be stolen by her ex-lover and teacher, the famous Auguste Rodin. Camille shows all her anguish and sorrow due to her parents’ silence and absence towards her appeals to get out, stating that she is not insane. Only her brother, the writer Paul Claudel, pays her a visit from time to time, becoming her only hope to escape that unbearable place. In the last part of the film we get to know more of Paul’s ideas, a writer whose devotion to God made him blind, defending that Camille’s delusions of persecution and grandeur were more a case for an exorcism than sickness. Light was set beautifully, aiding Dumont setting up the perfect cold atmosphere and sorrowful portrait of Camille, magnificently performed by Juliette Binoche. The pace adopted is slow and invariable, reminding me Cronenberg’s “A Dangerous Method” but with much more emphasis on oppressiveness. The top-notch direction was filled with medium close-ups and medium long shots that efficiently help to describe the sad and tedious life of this great artist.

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