Monday, June 11, 2012

Coco & Igor

Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky (2009) - Kounen
coco & igor
Stravinsky (Mads Mikkelsen) debuts The Rites of Spring in Paris, 1913. The production (choreographed by Nijinsky) is very avant-garde. The reception is so terrible, by the end, there is a riot in the theater. Chanel (Anna Mouglalis) is there in awe of its dissonance. For her as a strong, independent, 20th century woman, his music is the way of the future, well fit for her sensibility. 7 years later, she, still in mourning her boyfriend's death, invites Stravinsky and his family (sick wife and 4 kids) to her estate outside Paris. Unbeknownst to him, she is the sole supporter of the entire season of his production.

Kounen paints a very complex picture in two artists whose feeling and respect weren't totally mutual. In the eyes of Stravinsky's wife and many others, Chanel was a collector of people, adulteress and a cold hearted bitch. For the composer, she was an object of desire, a mere 'shop keeper', not an artist of equal status.

The soundtrack is great, so as dark, sumptuous cinematography and production design. Mouglalis's dark, slim elegance is quite magnetic. Mikkelsen's tortured genius has a real weight and depth. Kounen paints the artists as tragic figures, as misunderstood geniuses and lonely souls. It's much better than fluffy fairy tale that was Coco Before Chanel.

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