The New Yves Saint Laurent Biopic at San Francisco International Film Festival

 Gaspard Ulliel and Bertrand Bonello at San Francisco International Film Festival.

Gaspard Ulliel and Bertrand Bonello at San Francisco International Film Festival.


San Francisco International Film Festival debuted "Saint Laurent" the biopic directed by Bertrand Bonello. Actor Gaspard Ulliel and director Bertrand Bonello arrived at the premiere of 'Saint Laurent' at 58th San Francisco International Film Festival at Castro Theater and answered a few questions for SHOPGIRLSF.
We asked the director what inspired him to make the movie.

"Yves!" replied Bonello.  "Yves was an inspiration for the movie".

Director also explained that he tried to get as close as possible to Yves obsession by capturing the music played in the film, paintings used around the house and drawings.

" I wanted the film to be more mental, coming from the mind of Yves's"
Bonello added.

Although Pierre Berge did not approve this version in the press and threatened to sue Bonello for it back in 2013, movie received great reviews for its approach. The film focused on the different time in designer's life. It approached it when Yves was already at the peak of his career. The film goes back and forth between Saint Laurent’s atelier, his friends, nightlife, his obsession with pills and a love affair with Jacques De Bascher (Saint Laurent’s lover and the lover of Karl Lagerfeld).

We asked Gaspard who was the better kisser in the movie Louis Garrel as Jacques De Bascher or Jeremie Renier as Pierre Berge.

"Without a doubt Louis", he answered.

Ulliel also talked about his costumes for the movie. He said putting on the clothing that came from designer's collection made him feel like Yves Saint Laurent.

"Jacket was built differently and felt different while wearing it. It actually affected the way I moved" Gaspard said.

The movie included scenes that were imagined by the director. For instance the scene with an accidental overdose of  Mugjik, Yves Saint Laurent' s dog, which haunted  the designers for the rest of his life.

Worried audience inquired about the dog's health, to which Bonello assured everyone that the dog was doing fine, living fabulously on an island. Gaspard added jokingly that the dog wasn't cooperating with the cameras until after the scene with the overdose.

"It wouldn't run away from the cameras when it was rolling, instead waiting patiently for more"

We  asked the director about the last runway scene and the costumes used.
Bonello said, "We didn't have rights for the house of Saint Laurent to use the original clothing. We had to build an atelier Haute Couture and remake the dresses"

As the first time viewers of "Saint Laurent" it was fascinating to watch because it went beyond the familiar glamour we see today, instead it went behind the surface. "Saint Laurent" was a low budget movie and what we heard last  it is in France and has already been submitted to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as a candidate for Best Foreign Film.


Text by Juliet Belkin