Pierre Thoretton: L’Amour Fou

Pierre Bergé, the life long partner of Yves Saint-Laurent (1936-2008), is the one that tells the story about the artist and his troubled life as the fragile and modest designer, who – helped very much by Bergé’s organisational and financial talent – established the world famous fashion house, built up an art collection, and as the years went along, developed deep depressions (Bergé calls it une dépression nerveuse) and took to immense alchohol and drug abuse.

Bergé, often facing the camera, takes the viewer to the different flats and houses of the two, in Paris, in Normandy and in Marrakech with the packing down of the art collection as the backbone of the story. Bergé decided to sell it all after the death of YSL and the film follows that process ending in Grand Palais in Paris at the auction – ”L’amour Fou”, I guess, must refer to both the relationship between the two men, and to their love to the art collection that was of an amazing quality. 

Archive (lots of interviews with YSL, clips from the shows, the amazing ”la collection russe”, and one where Catherine Deneuve sings for the old, shaken designer), photos, his love to the world of Proust (he signed in as Swann when at hotels abroad!), his Mondrian inspiration, the two women who followed him, one his black seducer into narchotics, the other the light and joyful companion. Bergé himself, and his work for rights for homosexuals, is characterised towards the end of the film as a man who lives on memories, a lonely man. (Could, however, have done without the kliché of him standing at a window looking to the sea.) He has been there through the whole film telling his story about YSL. A fascinating insight to a man whose ”fame only brought suffering”.    

Watched the film on DR K, Danish public television (K stands for Kultur), that broadcast several fashion films in connection with a fashion week in Copenhagen. The film is out on dvd.


France, 2010, 103 mins.

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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