In the scene where Claire and Viviane are sitting at the table discussing Viviane's name, Claire's hands alternate between touching her face and resting on the table repeatedly between shots. See more »
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The funeral of a charismatic painter brings together friends and lovers
A minor but charismatic painter dies, and his friends and lovers and family go by train to Limoges for his funeral. There is a lot of bitterness and regret and desire: sometimes sudden and apparently irresistible, and it's given a very warm and lovely treatment here. The beauty of the men and their desire for each other is attractive (one does not have to be gay, though it helps to be sympathetic). However, the whole complicated story seems to me to be soaked through with the glum assumption that everything, everything is expendable, and the only good to be achieved is in brief moments of passion, and passion inevitably fades. There is no point in holding on to anyone. Is this apotheosis of fickleness strictly a gay theme? Certainly not, but it is central here. Apparently critics have talked of something being reborn in the story, but I could see only sadness. Happy endings may often be contrived, but sometimes I suspect the ineluctable dissolution ending can be just as contrived. Perhaps I just don't get it, but all this short-term loving, this coming close only to be set drifting outward into darkness seems unnecessarily painful, and I resent being told that's the way it is.
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