Cinema: Le Scaphandre et le Papillon

Cinema: Le Scaphandre et le Papillon

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For the past few days I’ve been working hard on a paper for this class I’m taking (ahem, I’m trying) and I reallllly wanted some downtime by working on my favourite GRANNY HOBBY. You know what I’m talking about… making a collage of course, oh yeah! That’s why I dived into my archives and dug up this review I wrote about 4 years ago. I did a little rewriting and translating and here it is. It all still very much applies, because it’s still one of the prettiest films I’ve ever seen!

When reading the description of this film for the first time, I definitely raised an eyebrow. A film about a man who can only move his left eyelid? That can not be the most fascinating story ever. Little did I know how beautiful it actually was. It all happened to Jean-Dominique Bauby, a successful editor of the French Elle. In the prime of his life he suffered from a stroke and became completely paralysed, a feeling he himself would describe as “living in a wet suit”. However, Jean- Dominique decided to make something of the time he has left (“I decided to have no self-pity and pay more attention to the two things that were not paralyzed: my imagination and my memory”) and asked his very patient nurse to write down his memoirs: Le Scaphandre et le papillon.

What makes this film special is not just the cinematography (which is in fact really really beautiful), but also how it makes you think about life. The main message of this film is not to show you how horrible it is to be locked in your body, but to show us that there is always something that can save you, like your imagination. Or, as the tagline of this beautiful french movie says: let your imagination set you free!

If you love art house films and have a weak spot for the French language, this is one you definitely HAVE to see. You won’t regret it, trust me. It also has a great soundtrack!

The trailer:

(don’t watch it you don’t want to be spoiled ;) )

This is a translation of a piece I wrote in dutch about Le Scaphandre et le Papillon on 20/03/2010. So, no, you’re not going crazy if you recognize this post, it just means that you have been following me for quite a while! :)