Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Portrait of a Lady on Fire ★★★★½

“When you're observing me, who do you think I'm observing?”

haven’t felt this alive during a film viewing experience since Midsommar a couple months ago, and generally not been as sensually attacked by many other films ever. Céline Sciamma elicits tactile yearning and sensory overload with minimalistic style and scarce dialogue. my friend and i could barely get a hold of ourselves during that first half for all its deprivation. partial fulfillment stretched so thin that touch and vision melt into one and this heightened action of sensing itself left us raw to Héloïse and Marianne’s emotional turmoil

i find it as hard to describe my feelings about them as they did when trying to communicate their desire to each other. it goes so much beyond words and where language fails them, Sciamma adds a whole universe of meaning with a fascinating silence to it that reverberates forcefully beyond the cinematic frame. each scene is as if watching a panel, a painting, a secretly coded message in stirring colors and characters. Adèle Haenel and Noémie Merlant are masterfully subtle and in a league of their own. 

this is as epitomic of the female gaze as it gets and i want more of it, so much more. the constantly loving embrace of the woman’s body, her every part brought forth in radiance and glory. constantly drawn together and apart from its other half because turning around and closing the gap means losing her. salt water taste in the air and the wind ruffling their dresses. and always the glance, the looking at each other. do you ever just look and feel it all at once? i did when watching Portrait de la jeune fille en feu. i hope you will too

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