Xavier Dolan is he a genius? 이 보다 더 뜨거울 수는 없다, 자비에 돌란

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Photos by J’ai tue me mere official homepage & Flickr

Personally, to talk about cinema, I believe that there are few very important standards to evaluate a movie that it is ‘great’. It doesn’t mean that every movie has to be evaluated in only one standard of course, but at least, ‘veracity’ and ‘clarity’ that we demand to cinema are still not unfair. Today, as a person who really loves film and even be restrained of it, I want to talk about Xavier Dolan, a film director and actor who have known for one of the most interesting genius in modern age.

I think we all, include me, have our own fantasy or romance about Dolan. He is a good actor who has worked since he was very young, a director who even mentioned with Jean Luc Godard a most important alive legend of Nouvelle vague, as a master of all the experimental, interesting scenarios so to speak. He is already an intellectual French actually who invited and nominated in a lot of film festival like Cannes, Venice, or Academy. Of course it is the most surprising part that he is only 26years old.

Xavier Dolan

Xavier Dolan

But in my case, I actually have doubted about his genius for a long time. I tend to be very careful and even arrogant in this case actually, because sometimes the expression ‘genius’ can spoil every proper discernment of people.

In the case of Xavier Dolan, the evaluation of critics exactly divided into two actually. The first one is the total agreement of his fame; genius of the age without any doubt. And second one is the very cynical opinion; that he is just a mere superstar made by some of critics and public.

Interestingly, the second people say that the only thing that redounds to his movie is plausible auteurisme, folie de grandeur of media which want to create an unbelievable genius, and public’s tenuous prejudice about Dolan. Indeed, I’ve seen so many people who conclude Dolan’s genius so easily even if they didn’t see any of his films. So if we just assure his genius just because he got a lot of rare praises and created some rare cinemas, it would be also a disrespect to Dolan, himself.

Xavier Dolan's movie, 'I killed my mother' (3)

Xavier Dolan’s, ‘I killed my mother’

Therefore, the first thing I want to discuss about is that the question, ‘what part of his films is exactly making Dolan to be looked genius?’

Looking intuitionally, there I could feel quite nouvelle vague style realism in his works. His speech of directing is very psychological, unpunctual, and thus tremendous. Moreover, his scenarios generally start with very serious and personal problems in his own way. I mean, he don’t actually make this entire problem too poetic or sentimental like any other famous classic movies before.

On the other hand, he shows it with unique funky sense of humor. For a joke, I’ve always warn people that they have to be nervous of his movie, just because they will laugh too much at this serious but irresistible contemporary comedy and finally will die of an heart attack. Think of these avant-garde, it absolutely reminds me of nouvelle vague nostalgia -kind of 68 Revolution of film world.

Xavier Dolan's movie, 'I killed my mother' (6)

Xavier Dolan’s, ‘Monny’

However despite every charm, the real point of his genius is actually in his superior ‘identity comedy’ I assure. For example, at the scene of <J’AI TUE MA MERE> that Hubert and his mother engaging in a chase along the corridor, and at the scene of <Laurence Anyway> that literature teacher Laurence who wear female attire boldly walking along the hall full of students for the first time, we audience feel like that we finally find an oasis. I should say that such a talented director is very rare these days.

The second discussion is for the thing that Dolan want to talk about in his film. Like <Mommy> that released in Korea recently, most themes of his movies start from an identity of a character -usually homosexuality, and ADHD this time and spread out to surroundings ‘mother, lovers etc’. By this way, he shows us some horrible tragedy, deficiency or lots of contradictions of our lives.

Xavier Dolan's movie, 'I killed my mother' (4)

Xavier Dolan’s, ‘I killed my mother’

Of course, it is not that easy for us who is bounded by blockbusters to perfectly understand his film. We should first skim every kind of his immature mysticism, and savor entire attitude or mentation of characters which even seems sometimes obscure. But nevertheless, all of this discomfort, if we exercise our patience a little bit, I’m sure that his cinema will come quite much more clearer than any other director’s movie.

It’s like a moment that people face naked existence of modern people’s ridiculous life. It’s like the artistic and intellectual response to everyday’s unpleasant which we would ostracize. Dolan’s nobility is in here I think, if I have to say.

Finally, so many brilliant devices integrated in his film also incite our fantasy that he might be a genius. Delicate sense of homosexual code in cinema-which is also one of his identities-, pictures that seems cynical or dry, and the sounds that perfectly match with those pictures, and finally, gloomy tension.

Xavier Dolan's movie, 'I killed my mother' (5)

Xavier Dolan’s, ‘Tom at the farm’

He did a very bold attempt and gave us a shock by presenting 5:5 picture ratio in <Mommy>. he add oddly dark and deep dizziness of paternal love, according sort of powerful suspense that comes from the mood of continual chasing throughout the running time in <Tom at the farm> especially. Yes. Those stunning devices shattered my expectation that his cinema will follow exactly similar route with <Bad education> by Pedro Almodovar -also one of a lovely movie in its way-. And that is the very omen to me for proving Dolan’s genius.

Xavier Dolan. I’d rather not plead him, but anyway he has branded as ‘a genius made by genius marketing strategies’. However judging by all of works he made, by his ‘honest’, ‘lucid’ attitude to cinema, I finally concluded that it is absolutely no matter whether he is real genius or not. He anyway became a supreme beneficiary in people’s empty argument, and we know at least he goes very well for directing-or acting- ‘good movie’. Guess what? I just hope that he don’t care about it anymore.



345 Contributor, Lee Seung Min

A freelance fashion columnist, Lee Seung Min tells about fashion, art, culture by his own unique view point more in-depth and make interesting.

프리랜서 패션 칼럼니스트인 이승민은 패션과 예술, 그리고 문화 전반에 대한 심층적이고 솔직한 이야기들을 독특한 시각으로 전해준다.

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