After the scandal Mektoub My Loveits sequel Mektoub My Love: Intermezzo which rocked the Cannes Film Festival in 2019, has still not been released, but why?
If we are still wondering which films selected at Cannes 2022 will be likely to shock the public this year, The Crimes of the Future of Cronenberg being well on its way to provoking aversion and November of Cédric Jimenez to be the new political scandal, last year, it is obviously Titanium by Julia Ducournau who created a huge controversy after causing some discomfort, pushing several spectators out of the projection room and winning the Palme d’Or.
But the film is far from being the first to have shocked the Cannes public, far from it. If Lars von Trier and his Antichrist caused a scandal because of the very violent scenes, in particular of mutilation, and that Gaspar Noé may have become, with Irreversiblethe most controversial French filmmaker, Abdellatif Kechiche has been the subject of much debate lately, especially since Mektoub My Love: Intermezzo and her thirteen minute cunnilingus sequence.
Since La Vie d’Adèle, Kechiche and scandal go hand in hand
The filmmaker did not wait for the first part of the trilogy Mektoub to create controversy. Indeed, when it was released in 2013, The Life of Adele and its very raw sex scenes cause a scandal, but the film still managed to register more than a million admissions in France, after receiving the Palme d’or at Cannes, exceptionally awarded to the director and his two actresses, Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux, recently returned to the (traumatic) sex scenes of the film.
Four years after the scandal of The Life of Adelewhich nevertheless earned him a bad reputation, Abdellatif Kechiche returned to the charge with Mektoub My Love, which was not shown at Cannes, but which was widely criticized for the obsession with female bodies which the filmmaker seems to be a victim of. For the second part, Kechiche did not curb his passions since he proposed a 3h30 film, which already revolted some, with non-simulated sex scenes which shocked the publicCannes this time.
A trying film for its actors, well especially its actresses
A second part which did not escape the scandal and which even did worse, so much so that the actress Ophélie Bau left the room during the premiere of the film at the Cannes Film Festival in 2019, in particular because of the scene of cunnilingus that Kechiche would have left during the editing without his final agreement. If the first film had managed to be released in cinemas, the second, three years after its first screening, has still not been released on the big screen.
The Parisian was precisely interested in the reasons which could explain the absence of the rooms of Mektoub My Love: Intermezzo. According to their investigation, the first reason concerns the music present in the film. In effect, Kechiche and the studio simply wouldn’t have the rights to the majority of the songs used in the film. which takes place almost entirely in a nightclub. Obtaining these rights would cost a staggering sum.
Secondly, because of his lengthy, highly controversial cunnilingus scene, it’s highly likely that Mektoub My Love: Intermezzo also receives a ban on those under 18, which would not make its theatrical release impossible, but very complicated, considerably reducing the possible number of spectators. Mektoub My Love: Intermezzo should therefore surely say goodbye also to this sequencewhich may well be the only promotional element of the film, to hope to land in theaters.
The icing on the cake, Kechiche’s production company, Quat’sous Films, has gone into liquidation, which further removes the possibility of one day seeing this second film in theaters. Partially shot, the third pane, Mektoub My Love: Canto Due could suffer the same fate. According to The Parisian, the film would be, on paper, more unifying than Intermezzo since it does not take place in a nightclub.
However, as the journalist author of the paper, Catherine Balle, points out, “it is hard to see the director, known for his perfectionism and his intransigence, accepting that the end of his trilogy be released in theaters when only a few dozen spectators in Cannes have seen the second part”.
In short, Kechiche seems to be rather badly crossed, and his projects, past and future, too.
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Mektoub My Love: the sequels to Kechiche’s film will probably never be released in cinemas