“May December”: Todd Haynes, Taboo Filmmaker

“This is a game of chess. , Todd Haynes defines his work this way. “Really a game of chess”, He insists. At the Paris premises of its French distributor, ARP, which is securing the theatrical release of its new feature film, may december, On January 24, the 63-year-old filmmaker passes away. He gets up, then sits, then gets up again. And imitates the game of chess with his hands.

“In my opinion, the most touching melodramas are those during which a person attempts to express a desire that his social environment does everything to suppress. And, in the end, this same person destroys everything around him. , But then, why a game of chess? “There is no question of parts being removed”, He specifies, but “Pain given” About its characters, about the fate reserved for them, about the increasing intensity, about the enduring and monotonous pain of being put in checkmate.

In may decemberHis eleventh film, in competition at Cannes in 2023, names all the victims of this game of genocide. A famous actress (Natalie Portman) moves into a luxurious house along the river in Savannah, Georgia. She comes to meet a woman whose character she is going to play on screen. Getting to know him, with notebook in hand, she tries to understand his gestures, his postures, to understand what motivates him.

During the presentation of the film in Cannes on May 20, 2023 During the presentation of the film in Cannes on May 20, 2023

This approach is common for any actress who rubs shoulders with the real character. Except that, here, the model is hard to determine. Gracie, played by Julianne Moore, is a woman of about fifty whose life appears to be normal. But she came into limelight two decades ago when she was a thirty-year-old mother and had an affair with a 13-year-old boy.

Also read: Articles are reserved for our customers Cannes 2023: Todd Haynes dissects couple with scalpel with “May December”

a game of show and silence

This matter was initially kept secret, but when it came to light it created a stir. And it is this scandal that the actress tried to understand, twenty years later, by visiting the city, meeting witnesses to the story and, in the course of her investigation, discovering the weaknesses of the couple created by the former lovers. Then unfolds a vague game of pretense and unspoken words, collusion and condemnation.

may december It is based on an authentic story that fascinated and shocked America in the late 1990s: Washington State mathematics professor Mary Kay Letourneau, who was 34 at the time, and one of her students, Vili Fualaau, who was 12. Was of the year, there was a relationship between. Convicted of embezzlement from a minor, Mary Kay Letourneau had two children in prison with her young boyfriend, whom she married in 2005, when she came of age.

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