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Slideshow

  • An out-of-focus Yves Saint-Laurent in the foreground; Pierre Bergé looms in the background.
PREVIOUSLY PLAYED

CELEBRATION

12:30   2:10   3:45   5:20   7:00   8:40   10:15

Through Tuesday, October 15

DIRECTED BY OLIVIER MEYROU

A fascinating, long-suppressed documentary on the legendary Yves Saint Laurent, commissioned by his business partner (and former lover) Pierre Bergé – and then shelved for more than a decade when Bergé decided it was too revealing. Filming as the proverbial fly-on-the-wall over three years, as YSL became increasingly frail and incommunicado, Meyrou captures the last of the great haute couture houses. Seamstresses, cutters (“les petites mains”) and models work frantically to finesse the tiniest adjustments (“the hair of a frog”), as the principals undergo nothing less than existential crises (YSL: poignant and morose; Bergé: acerbic and overbearing). An intimate evocation of the complex relationship between two of fashion’s most brilliantly creative and profoundly idiosyncratic men.

FRANCE    2018    74 MINS.    IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES    KIMSTIM

Reviews

“Critic’s Pick. A searching, sensitive and revealing portrait. Saint Laurent was essential to 20th-century culture and CELEBRATION shows the inevitable fading of glory as well as the enduring features of his life’s work.”
– Glenn Kenny, The New York Times

“A priceless addition to our understanding of how Yves Saint Laurent – the man, the myth, la marque – operated.”
– Peter Debruge, Variety

“It is, yet again, an Yves Saint Laurent moment… It’s the film Mr. Bergé never wanted anyone to see, and the story of how it finally came to light reveals just how obsessed fashion is with its own mythology, and what is revealed when the curtain is raised. By simply hanging back, Mr. Meyrou... allows Mr. Bergé to exceed his reputation as a choleric supreme commander whose highest opinion is of himself… The jealousy and frustration of the puppet master is laid bare for all to see. What this film most reveals is the price he and Mr. Saint Laurent paid along the way - which is exactly what both tried to hide. In the end, Mr. Meyrou takes no pity on the titanic executive.” 
– Christopher Petkanas, The New York Times

“Meyrou’s unholy object. A real-life zombie movie, a late ‘90s vérité portrait of a living legend refashioned into a scrappy, thoroughly contemporary collage of deference and decay… CELEBRATION often approaches the feeling of a séance… a granular depiction of a dyspeptic artistic genius and his relectuant, deeply symbiotic relationship with his right hand. [YSL was] one of France’s greatest cultural exports.”
– Micah Gottlieb, The Brooklyn Rail