Uncategorized Posts

The Diving Bell And The Butterfly

Yes, I admit that I am a diehard fan of Julian Schnabel and adore his work - both as a painter AND a filmmaker, but that is not the only reason I recommend this film based on the true story of former Elle editor Jean-Dominque Bauby.

I love the bold approach Schnabel took by allowing us to participate in the main character's paralyzed state by allowing the camera to assume his perspective - you literally see what Bauby sees.

The photography, when we're looking through his eyes, is artfully obscured, blurred at the edges and dappled with beautiful wisps of sunlight.

Schnabel masterfully creates imagery based on a butterfly's perspective, flitting through stalks of meadow grass and the image of a diving bell - the heavy, immobile shell of Jean-Do's body, sinking to the bottom of an ocean.

Whether these motifs strike you as sublime or gratuitous will be a matter of taste, but the overall message - both mesmerizing and uplifting, definitely has a broad appeal.

Check out the above sample of "Don't Kiss Me Goodbye" by Ultra Orange & Emmanuelle. This rockish anthem with a French accent captures so much of the film's essence.