Yves Saint Laurent: L'Amour Fou (NC)


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The Independent Culture

An age-old truth lies just beneath the cool surface of this docu-memoir.

The dapper, elderly Pierre Berge is interviewed about Yves Saint Laurent, his partner in life and work for 50 years until the latter's death in 2008. They had first met at the funeral of Saint Laurent's mentor Christian Dior, whose throne he briefly inherited before establishing himself as the prince of haute couture. Footage traces YSL from the shy, bespectacled young man of the 1960s to an increasingly haunted figure whose entanglement in drugs and drink led to depression, and thence reclusion.

Berge recounts their time together in a dryly matter-of-fact and unsentimental fashion ("I don't believe in a soul") of which the proof is his putting up for sale the entire contents of their house in Paris, an eye-boggling trove of antiques and paintings (Goya, Picasso, Degas et al) that fetched $484m at auction. No amount of beauty, however, could avail its troubled collector, the sad unstated fact being that YSL could buy everything but peace of mind.