omplete QPORIT: Review: THE DANCER in RENDEZ-VOUS WITH FRENCH CINEMA 2017

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

 

Review: THE DANCER in RENDEZ-VOUS WITH FRENCH CINEMA 2017


THE DANCER / LA DANSEUSE

Thursday, March 2, 1:45pm
Monday, March 6, 9:30pm (Q&A with Stéphanie Di Giusto)

THE 22nd RENDEZ-VOUS WITH FRENCH CINEMA
MARCH 1-12, 2017

Tickets & more at

Preview at


Soko as Loie Fuller (l) and Lily-Rose Depp as Isadora Duncan (r)
THE DANCER / LA DANSEUSE
RENDEZ-VOUS WITH FRENCH CINEMA 2017


The Dancer / La danseuse

Stéphanie Di Giusto, France/Belgium/Czech Republic, 2016, 108m
English and French with English subtitles

This visually sumptuous drama set amidst the opulence of La Belle Époque Paris charts the real-life saga of modern dance icon Loïe Fuller (Soko). Raised on the plains of the American Midwest, Fuller became the unlikely toast of turn-of-the-century France with her legendary performances, in which swirling swaths of silk fabric and dazzlingly colored lights created a kaleidoscopic spectacle of color and movement. Boasting lavish period detail, breathtaking dance sequences, and fiercely committed performances by Gaspard Ulliel, Mélanie Thierry, and Lily-Rose Depp as Fuller’s rival Isadora Duncan, The Dancer is an arresting chronicle of an artist’s struggle to realize her vision.

Thursday, March 2, 1:45pm
Monday, March 6, 9:30pm (Q&A with Stéphanie Di Giusto)




REVIEW:

This film presents a fascinating account of the origins of the modern dance of the late 1800's and early 1900's, focusing first on Loie Fuller, and then on her relationship with Isadora Duncan (about 15 years younger than Fuller). The first part, including a beautiful reconstruction of Fuller's dances is terrific.

This second part does try to compress too many years of history into too few minutes.

To understand the full story, it is probably necessary to look at much more information over a much longer period.  A mini-series might have been appropriate. Indeed, the early 1900's were a spectacular time of innovation in science, music, art, and in classical ballet as well as free-form dance. A larger canvas for the story would be enlightening. (In the links, I've included Wikipedia articles about the principals, and a link to Fuller's autobiography.)

One note... I was a little puzzled in the film when Fuller talks about patents for her dance, rather than copyrights.  It turns out that she was trying to patent her inventions relative to the stage lighting!

Soko, who does great work in this film, is an experienced French actress, although not well known here, previously. Lily-Rose Depp, the daughter of Johnny Depp and French model and singer Vanessa Paradis, is a young newcomer, also terrific; Lily-Rose also appears in another film this year, PLANETARIUM, opposite Natalie Portman).


CAST AND CREATORS


Director - Stéphanie Di Giusto

Writers

Thomas Bidegain 
Stéphanie Di Giusto
Giovanni Lista (novel)
Sarah Thibau

Soko - Marie-Louise Fuller - dite Loïe Fuller
Gaspard Ulliel - Le comte Louis d'Orsay
Mélanie Thierry - Gabrielle Bloch
Lily-Rose Depp - Isadora Duncan
François Damiens - Edouard Marchand - le directeur artistique des Folies-Bergère
Louis-Do de Lencquesaing - Armand Duponchel - le directeur de l'Opéra
Amanda Plummer - Lili - la mère de Loïe


LINKS


THE DANCER / LA DANSEUSE – IMDB

LOIE FULLER – WIKIPEDIA

FIFTEEN YEARS OF A DANCER;’S LIFE – BY LOIE FULLER

ISADORA DUNCAN – WIKIPEDIA

STEPHANIE DI GIUSTO – IMDB

SOKO – IMDB

LILY-ROSE DEPP – IMDB




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