Water Lilies

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Re: Water Lilies

Postby fish » Mon Feb 18, 2013 7:52 am

How did I know that something which could so easily have remained unsaid, would in fact be said? :roll: :P

Mine too. :oops: :lol:
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Re: Water Lilies

Postby fish » Wed Feb 20, 2013 7:42 am

A poster and a media studies class from Taiwan.

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Re: Water Lilies

Postby DMt. » Sun Mar 24, 2013 12:12 am

I don't know how significant [or otherwise] it is, but Sciamma has remarked that all three of Les Filles d'NdP are very different from the characters they play in the film :wink:
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Re: Water Lilies

Postby fish » Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:40 am

My reality has left the options open on that one. :T :roll: :lol:



I suppose it stands to reason though. :wink:
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Re: Water Lilies

Postby DMt. » Wed Aug 28, 2013 6:53 pm

An otherwise decent and reasonably perceptive review of NdP that oddly and unfortunately ends by damning with faint praise... :roll:

*

Water Lillies Comes to DVD
By Gary Kramer {San Francisco Bay Times]
Published: July 10, 2008

The French drama Water Lilies opens with young teenage girls in a locker room preparing for their synchronized swimming competitions. They are putting lipstick on each other, fixing each other’s hair and gossiping, as girls do when they are together. However, Marie (Pauline Acquart) is outside. Small, and thin – a mere wisp of a girl, she is dressed in street clothes, and clearly the outsider. Waiting for her friend Anne (Louise Blachère), Marie studies the self-confident Floriane (Adele Haenel) and becomes smitten with this teenage goddess.

Meanwhile, Anne is crushed on François (Warren Jacquin), a hunky water polo player who catches sight of her naked. François, however, is dating Floriane, and when Anne sees the couple kiss at a party, she runs away, crying.

That same night, Marie meets Floriane in the bathroom and they form a tenuous bond. Marie wants Floriane to help her get into the swim club, and Floriane exacts a favor from Marie – help her meet up with François in secret.

Water Lilies finds considerable drama in the romantic entanglements of these four characters. The film depicts the budding, nascent sexuality of these teenagers – gay and straight, curious, ashamed and afraid – with remarkable sensitivity. Writer/director Céline Sciamma captures the adolescent angst not in words so much as in visual cues. When Marie is invited into the pool by Floriane, she takes tentative hesitant steps. There are also more overt references. A scene in which Floriane is eating a banana is sexualized plenty before a teammate takes the opportunity to discuss Floriane’s reputation.

Unsurprisingly, Floriane is not the slag everyone makes her out to be. As she confides in Marie, she is inexperienced sexually, despite getting massages from an older male coach and being pressured by François to have sex. Much of the drama in Water Lilies comes from Marie’s efforts to help Floriane with this problem. And Marie is eager to help – but she is not eager to be used. As the two young girls negotiate the boundaries of what they want from each other and what they will do for each other, the film finds its groove. It may be creepy watching the crushed Marie sift through Floriane’s stolen garbage – finding her scent, her taste – but, Sciamma suggests, Floriane tries to appropriate her new friend as well. When the two girls dance together at a nightclub, Marie practically stands still as Floriane writhes in front of her; she is using Marie to turn men on.

Wisely, the film contrasts this co-dependent relationship with Marie’s ebbing friendship with Anne. Marie is growing apart from Anne – in part because of her lesbian desires, and because Anne is exceedingly immature. As a scene at a McDonalds illustrates, Anne wants a happy meal for the cool toy, even though she is too old for it. That Anne gets what she wants is indicative of the film’s dramatic twists in the last act. The way the characters' desires are played out and resolved are what makes Water Lilies such a captivating film.

Like Marie who is fascinated by the young girl’s bodies in the pool, Sciamma is considerably observant. And her powers as a filmmaker go beyond the astuteness of the drama. There are hypnotic scenes of the synchronized swimming, and vivid images of nubile young bodies in, out and under water that are practically lecherous.

But Water Lilies is distinguished by the performances as well. Pauline Acquant is remarkable as Marie, surfacing her emotions almost without being aware that she is. Her acting is so precise viewers know exactly what she is thinking and feeling, sometimes even before her character does. Floriane may be the weakest role – the virginal sexpot – but Adele Haenel plays it with considerable self-assurance and just enough seductiveness. But the real surprise is Louise Blachère as Anne. Her performance is beautifully modulated. When she is embarrassed and hides behind a curtain at a party, or sprays deodorant in her mouth, she appears simple-minded, but she is also aware of the emotional drama swirling around her, and responds accordingly, she proves that she is nobody’s fool.

Filled with poignancy and a little heartbreak, Water Lilies is a terrific, albeit slight coming of age film.
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Re: Water Lilies

Postby fish » Thu Aug 29, 2013 9:07 am

I think he enjoyed it.
He just seemed to write himself into a bit of a corner and had to grasp for an escape.

Must have been a "w*rk experience" journo. :roll: :P
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Re: Water Lilies

Postby DMt. » Thu Aug 29, 2013 12:58 pm

I know, right?

"...terrific, albeit slight..."

What? Make your mind up! :T :roll:
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Re: Water Lilies

Postby Ian » Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:32 am

Didn't you know? It is NOT COOL to admit that you really like something these days. :wink:
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Re: Water Lilies

Postby DMt. » Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:45 am

Get away! - really???

How stupid is that? [Expressed as a percentage...] :T
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Re: Water Lilies

Postby Dahls » Sat Aug 31, 2013 12:11 am

I must have lost my "Scandinavian Cool" then, since I had my second viewing like a month ago, and still loved it.
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Re: Water Lilies

Postby DMt. » Thu Sep 05, 2013 12:06 am

Skandi cool isn't lose-able, surely; it's environmental, comes with the territory. :wink:

Something else cool; I just noticed Céline Sciamma gets a mention in the Les Revenants credits for help with the writing;

"Céline Sciamma, pour son gracieux apport de l'écriture" 8)

[So I guess l'Acquart was too busy with Blanche Neige, then. Pfui.]
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Re: Water Lilies

Postby DMt. » Wed Jan 01, 2014 7:48 pm

By Nick Schager, Slant magazine;

Told exclusively from the perspective of teenage girls, Water Lilies sees female adolescence as an uncomfortable, embarrassing phase full of painful self-consciousness and frustrated desire. In a featureless suburbia devoid of any parental figures, Marie (Pauline Acquart) becomes entranced by her high school's synchronized swimming team and, in particular, its boy-magnet captain Floriane (Adèle Haenel). Though small and shy, Marie ingratiates herself with Floriane, gaining both access to the squad's practices and the trust of the aquatic athlete, who is soon using the younger Marie as her alibi for—and escort to—sexual rendezvous with boys. Meanwhile, their budding friendship throws a wrench into that of Marie and Anne (Louise Blachère), a heavy, gawky girl whose issues with her body impede attempts to woo hunky pool attendant François (Warren Jacquin). Director Céline Sciamma's debut can lay the sensual lyricism on a bit too thick, but her depiction of girls struggling to adjust to and survive teendom is suitably raw, avoiding dewy-eyed visions of first love and social conflict for a bruised, tender portrait of growing up as a confusing, traumatic period of constant readjustment. Losing one's virginity is presented as a thorny, harrowing event—metaphorically visualized by the sight of swimmers' lower halves kicking about underwater—and Marie's abandonment of loyal but uncool Anne for chilly but beautiful Floriane captures the selfish callousness that kids are capable of when social standing and self-esteem are at stake. While Anne pursues the heterosexual attention of François, Marie and Floriane's bond becomes laced with aching homoeroticism, and Water Lilies neither titillates nor condescends in trying to dramatize the way that awe-struck respect (on Marie's part) and chilly, needy egotism (on Floriane's) can blur the line between admiration and amorous longing. Back and forth these dynamics shift, the director charting her story's emotional curlicues with poise and polish, as well as eliciting superb performances from her three leads—and especially the dangerously alluring Haenel—that burn with skinned-knee authenticity.
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Re: Water Lilies

Postby fish » Thu Jan 02, 2014 8:32 am

Time I watched it again methinks. *:)*
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Re: Water Lilies

Postby DMt. » Fri Jan 03, 2014 1:34 pm

I only rewatched it a couple of months ago...don't want to wear it out.

Nowadays it seems a little strange at first, seeing l'Acquart as a 15-year-old [but it soon passes].

Such a good film, a 'perfect storm' like Let the Right One In or Fucking Amal; I think it's really obvious when a whole production team is on fire with a project, and it doesn't seem to happen all that often.
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Re: Water Lilies

Postby snaps » Mon Aug 15, 2016 11:54 pm

Image

Just having a little fun retrospective here as it is 10 years since 'Naissance des Pieuvres' was actually filmed. The weather here (in U.K. and France) was an unseasonal heatwave. I think the fortuitous actual peak weather conditions contributed very much to the sense of 'heat' / 'passion', humidity and dizzy breathy airlessness conveyed in the film. So good to see so much recognition and clips on YouTube now of this incredible 'debut' film by Celine Sciamma who like Moodysson with his 'debut' of 'Show Me Love' must sometimes weep to know that this debut is the likely high-point of their respective careers. No matter. Much good comes after, but bask in the glory.

As with 'SML' I don't have a favorite scene - there are so many. Most popular seems to be the 'disco scene' and the 'end scene' - both backed by excellent soundtrack music (from different sources) I derive just as much joy from less prominent scenes. The choice of Cergy-Pontoise (Sciammas birthplace) as the backdrop is poignant. The concrete and glass 'new-town' with its prissy rusting swimming pool: the pointless phallic columns of the Aix, social housing of hen coops, a post-war planners wet dream which failed to take into account the emotional aspirations of the generation of older Parisians who didn't move there - but grew up there.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9LrFp2iy0o
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