“Hi James – wasn’t it a gorgeous night – didn’t like film much though – how did it end?” This tweet from a former colleague pretty much sums up how I think many people who attended tonight’s Open Air Cinema in Sydney felt about the film, “Heartbeats” (LES AMOURS IMAGINAIRES).
It was a French/Canadian film with one of those classic ménage à trois French language films plotlines, except in this case, there was no actual three-way-action. Instead, it was a film about two friends – a straight woman and a gay man – who both fell in love with the same very attractive man. Unfortunately for them, he had no interest in either. Indeed, you almost sensed some revulsion at the interest of the gay man when he told the character of his love for him. But rather than feel sad for him, or try to understand or console him, he asked “but how could you possibly think I was gay”.
The object of their desires wasn’t an entirely objectionable character. Sure, he was a bit of a narcissist, but I didn’t feel strongly about him either way. In fact, I didn’t feel strongly about any of the characters in the film, as I don’t think I ever really got to know them as people.
But there were some great things to the film: an excellent soundtrack with a combination of 60s Italian and French pop songs; and some beautiful cinematography. The “sex” scenes were also quite beautiful, as the actors were reduced to monochrome. The sex scenes were in distinct contrast with a wank scene early in the film, which I suspect caused a number of people to leave.
In fact, quite a few people left early in the piece. I’m sure some were offended. I think others were just bored or confused by the film. As I stood and waited for my friend John to come from the toilets, I listened to the conversations of the people walking by. I heard no one who said they really “loved” the film.
“Well done you for sticking it out. We bailed. Too much angst and not enough action!” was a follow-up tweet I recieved. In response to the tweet “how did it end”, I tweeted “They remained bitter and twisted to the end. Was like a very long film clip from the eighties”
Still, it was a beautiful night.