With the Trent Film Society welcoming the month of February, we are happy to be bringing you all a new set of films under the theme of love.
While there are endless movies that are released yearly which tackle the theme of love and relationships, we at TFS have decided to focus primarily on films which show forms of romance not particularly represented in mainstream films.
The first film that we will be screening will be a film by renowned Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan (I Killed My Mother, Mommy, & Adele’s Hello music video) titled Laurence Anyways.
The story of Laurence Anyways follows a transgendered woman named Laurence and her partner Frederique. The film follows these two characters’ relationship over the span of two decades and it shows the highs and lows the couple faces from those around them and with each other.
With this film, TFS is not only able to showcase a film by a true Canadian auteur (the visual aesthetics, music choices, and camerawork alone in this film are that of a filmmaker who has fully realized their work), but we are also able to showcase a beautiful and epic love story about a specific demographic which rarely ever gets respectable representation in Western film and media.
One of the beautiful aspects of this film is that Dolan refuses to gloss over the hardships that transgendered individuals face in regards to romantic relationships and in regards being able to identify as their true selves.
Dolan brilliantly captures the difficulties that Laurence faces in trying to reclaim her own identity in a world that sees her being as taboo and unnatural.
From small moments such as Laurence having to explain and justify her gender identity to people who only understand gender normative terms, to Laurence being able to embrace her true identity for the first time, Dolan is able to allow the audience to experience the complex nature of transgendered experiences in a cisgender-dominant society.
The film also relies heavily on the theme of identity and public perceptions, with the theme being set during the film’s powerful opening moments (which begins with many people staring into the camera as if they are judging someone, each baring a different negative, and sometimes positive, expression on their face).
This theme could have related to Dolan due to his experiences as a homosexual in a hetero-dominant society, but with an attachment to this core theme, Dolan is able to make his film ring true and resonate with anyone who has struggled with their identity and has faced harsh public perception due to non-conformity.
Having this as a main theme, Dolan is not only able to make the story more universal, but he is also able to humanize Laurence’s struggles and create a strong sense of empathy towards her and her experiences throughout the film. Also, with Frederique leading the film with Laurence, the film focuses heavily on the struggles of their relationship after Laurence reveals her true identity.
With the film spanning over a decade, we see their relationship play like an emotional roller-coaster, with many ups and downs throughout, with their sexual dynamic shifting and their love being tested countlessly. While it may be hard to watch at times, their relationship serves as the heart of the film and helps create many of the films beautiful moments.
We hope that you are all able to join us on Wednesday, Feb. 3 at 8 p.m. at Artspace for our screening of this beautiful film, which we are proud to have as our kick starter for our February romance lineup. See you on Wednesday!