Wednesday, May 23, 2007

the diving bell and the butterfly

renowned artist, filmmaker, and man about town, julian schnabel just premiered his new film at cannes last night, entitled "the diving bell and the butterfly" based on the memoir of a French magazine editor, Jean-Dominique Bauby, who suffered a stroke that left his entire body paralyzed except for his left eye and his mind remained intact--a syndrome which is apparently referred to as "locked-in syndrome." bauby wrote a memoir of his experiences just 10 days before he died using a system of blinking his one eye.

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julian schnabel is best known for his paintings, as well as his recent work redesigning the new gramercy park hotel. his other films include "before night falls and "basquiat". apparently this film was supposed to be done in english, but schnabel insisted on learning french to direct it in bauby's own language to produce the same lyricism that exists in his memoir.

i don't know much about the film, especially since the preview lacks english subtitles, but from what i could comprehend with my minimal french, it looks like a romantic and moving story. plus, the visual style is beautiful and the reviews, including one by l.a. times veteran kenneth turan, are mainly favorable.

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