Thursday, 27 August 2015

"Kirsten-Antoinette"

Sofia Coppola Marie-Antoinette Trianon Palace Versailles
The main movie of the open air cinema evening was Sofia Coppola's "Marie-Antoinette" which (blush) VDP had never seen. It had been years since VDP has watched a dubbed film, that was strange! VDP adored it, which is surprising considering that she usually dislikes movies that have little historical substance. Part of VDP agrees with Jean-Luc Douin who in Le Monde described 'Marie-Antoinette' as a ‘kitsch and roc(k)oco’ film which ‘deliberately displays its anachronisms’, and additionally as a ‘sensory film’ that was ‘dreamt by a Miss California’ and ‘orchestrated around the Du Barry or Madame de Polignac playground gossip’. Part of VDP scrambled to search for the history of macarons, which did NOT exist in the ‘Ladurée’ form seen here until the XIXth century, though of course the delightful little things certainly owe this movie a great deal, having since rocketed to stardom and must-have status all over the world. Part of VDP is happy that the great masses should now know (with certainty because Kirsten Dunst herself said it!) that the queen most probably never actually uttered the words ‘let them eat cake’ (so please, at least when commenting on this blog, stop saying that she did, you will earn VDP's eternal gratitude!). While VDP believes that the film gives a tiny insight into the hornet’s nest that was the French royal court, the ‘sweet tooth depravity’ shown here is miles from who Marie-Antoinette probably was in reality, a woman who was likely far less stupid and frivolous than usually portrayed. Marie-Antoinette is a very touchy subject in this country, where she is still widely hated (despite the fact that it is mainly the support of the American war of Independence that ruined France, not her follies that merely constituted contributing factors. What's more, such follies weren't unusual -probably even standard- in a world of monarchies which we judge with post-revolutionary, XXIst century eyes)…
And yet VDP loved it! The explosion of colours, the lavish costumes (full of anachronisms too but hell…), the ‘Converse All Stars’ feet scene, the soundtrack (ahhhh Adam and the Ants during the love scene with count de Fersen – oops pity she probably never did actually have sex with Fersen back then)… She loved seeing Versailles and the no less beautiful château of Vaux Le Vicomte –the castle without which there might not have been Versailles- where some scenes were shot. VDP thoroughly enjoyed herself but wishes that people who visit Versailles and dream of Kirsten Dunst wouldn’t believe that this is an accurate portrayal of Maria Antonia Josepha Johanna, archduchess of Austria and queen of France (and trust VDP, a lot do, the conversations you sometimes overhear when at the palace are too funny). Okay, before you ask, no VDP isn’t a monarchist and sorry for the long post…

Le film projeté à la séance inaugurale des Yvelines font leur cinéma cette année, c'était Marie-Antoinette de Sofia Coppola que VDP n'avait encore jamais vu. VDP a beaucoup aimé le côté décalé du film (la scène des Converse All Star l'a éclatée) ce qui est étonnant puisqu'elle aime bien, en général, les films qui collent plus à la réalité historique et trouve dommage que tant de touristes qui se pressent à Versailles pensent désormais que Maria Antonia Josepha Johanna, archiduchesse d'Autriche et reine de France était Kirsten Dunst... Ah là là, les conversations que l'on surprend parfois en traînant au château !
Sofia Coppola Marie-Antoinette Trianon Palace Versailles
Sofia Coppola Marie-Antoinette Trianon Palace Versailles

17 comments:

William Kendall said...

I wonder what Marie Antoinette would have made of the technology of film showing at Versailles!

Geoff Wilkinson said...

Wonderful post, please don't apologise it's so good to read such a passionate piece. Also I have to say I love the second picture showing the three figures on the screen against that lovely evening sky., bravo....

Revrunner said...

That's what I like about history--it's so complicated.

RedPat said...

You told us much more in English than en francais, Ciel! I loved the Converse scene in your link. I haven't seen the movie but I think I should just to see the scenery! Loved your post too!

Jack said...

Well, I am sure not going to delve into monarchist politics on your blog, no, not me! Fortunately, I am close to entirely ignorant on this subject.

Bob Crowe said...

Wow, I have never seen you wax so eloquent. As is sometimes said, you can just suspend disbelief.

And we still appreciate your help in the 1770s.

mia more said...

Cinema is cinema. Sorry but I suppose people are not as stupid to.believe what they watch in a movie.

llandudnopictures said...

You may have a new career beckoning as a movie reviewer!

Josette T said...

je n'ai pas vu le film... si ça passe à la télé je le regarderai

Gert Jan Hermus said...

You did a great job again. It is always a pleasure to visit your blog. ;-)

Greetings from the Netherlands!
Gert Jan
www.gertjanhermus.nl

VP said...

I willingly skipped this: IMHO Sofia is nothing like her father...

PerthDailyPhoto said...

Oh la! I enjoyed your review very much Ciel, I haven't seen this movie but artistic licence aside I think I must, if only to revel in the sights of Versailles. You were lucky on your outdoor movie night ..the shorter extra feature Sido looked a delight.

Birdman said...

Agree with BC. What an entertaining post today. Had to chuckle. Adam Ant.... hahahaha

Lowell said...

I'm glad that you enjoyed the movie and I appreciate all your commentary. Don't much like Sofia Coppola, though, or these kinds of historical films. Don't know why.

Wayne said...

It's good to know the queen never uttered that phrase, I know that trivia will come in handy some day.

Philadelphia has their own version of Bastille Day where they use a modified version of the phrase. "Let them eat Tastykake" (Tastykake is a local baker)

http://www.visitphilly.com/events/philadelphia/bastille-day-festival-at-eastern-state-penitentiary/

lilac and old roses said...

Great post, made me laugh! I loved the film too! Jane xxx

EG CameraGirl said...

I loved reading your impression of this film! Truth be told, I believe most history is full of fiction and it's difficult to know what to believe, whether it's in a film or in a book. Just saying!