Sunday, November 22, 2015

Copenhagen and Jeune & Jolie: Two Beautifully Different Films on Love, Sex & Humanity

 Two beautiful films - two beautifully different perspectives on love, sex and human emotions. Both are riveting stories with talented actors that were unknown to me -Gethin Antony & Frederikke Hansen in Copenhagen and Marine Vacth in Jeune & Jolie .  Though they were both seemingly simple in terms of plot, they were somehow gripping. Saturday night was a stay-at-home Netflix and pizza night, a much needed rest after a horrendously busy couple of weeks. That's the funny thing about doing a PhD - you are always busy, but never quite seem to be getting anywhere quickly; this led me to the best four hours of cinema I've seen in awhile.

Copenhagen is an independent Danish film  directed by Mark Raso. Released in 2014, it tells the story of a 28 year man whose best friend ditches him on a "guys trip" in which he had intended to find his grandfather, his last known living relative.  Jaded, the protagonist sets off on his own and meets an optimistic Danish girl who understands life with an absent father. Connecting on an emotional level, William and Effy develop a strong bond - that is, until William discovers that the beautiful girl he has fallen in love with is 14 years old. Asking the question - how relevant is age in love?- the film touches on a sensitive topic and leaves the viewer to develop their own opinion.

Jeune & Jolie (Young & Beautiful) is a French film by François Ozon released in 2013 and has all the characteristic bizzareness of French cinema that I love  - including the surprise ending. Isabelle is a stunningly gorgeous 17 year old girl who loses her virginity to a random boy at the beach one summer and is bitterly disappointed and ruined by the experience. She turns to using her body to earn money - and with a few clicks, becomes a companion to older men who are unfaithful to their wives and taken by her beauty. From her own emotions, to her family's discovery of the truth to the event that finally makes her reconsider her actions, this poignant film portrays the drama of human emotions.

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