If It Were Love / 2020
1 hour 22 minutes
Awards and nominations:
— Best Documentary in the Teddy Program at the Berlinale, 2020
— Best Documentary Film at the Athens International Film Festival (nominated), 2020
— Documentaire Extraordinaire at the Bergen International Film Festival (nominated), 2020
— Best Film Award in the Directors’ Week section of the Brussels International Film Festival (nominated), 2020
— Best Documentary in the New Wave Non-fiction Film Section at the Seville European Film Festival (nominated), 2020
Fifteen young dancers get together as the Crowd troupe and went on tour together. They reimagine ballerina Gisèle Vienne’s dance about the French rave scene of the 1990s and gradually build an increasingly intimate and bizarre relationship with each other. When the line between reality and dance almost disappears, the scene represents real life for them, where the main characters experience shared nights, parties and love.
SCREENING PARTNER — ARARAT COFFEE
ARARAT Coffee is a classic Armenian duo in an updated format. It is a story of combination, where the boundaries of the two components are not felt. It’s just like the boundaries of reality and dance are blurred in the lives of the characters of «If It Were Love» who went on tour with a performance. The fictional stories invented by art director Gisèle Vienne merge with the real confessions of the performers.Learn more
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What was the cultural scene in France in the 1990s?
French music and cinema gave us robots in futuristic helmets, assassins in tight latex, and Jean Reno in stylish glasses. The main characters in If It Were Love were also inspired by the nineties. DTF Magazine, together with ARARAT Coffee, briefly explains what France gave to world culture in the 1990s
The birth of French Touch
The early 1990s in France blossomed thanks to a new sense of freedom, which was particularly reflected in Paris. At the end of the 1980s disco and house sounded in the clubs here and their mix was called French Touch, and one of its progenitors was, oddly enough, David Guetta together with producer and DJ Choice. Parties and raves were held in the most unpredictable places like a water park, a hospital or a modern art museum. All this was captured by photographer Olivier Degorce, who produced the Plastic Dream art book, which documented the essence of raves of the early 1990s.
And although energetic britpop with its Wonderwall appeared on the Parisian scene, the most respected were the guys who preferred 110-140 BPM. Daft Punk, Cassius, Bob Sinclair and Modjo came out of the shadows. Their influence can still be felt today, and one of the most famous examples is Madonna’s Confessions on a Dance Floor. The new music genre also influenced Mia Hansen-Løve’s «Eden», a drama about an aspiring writer who gives up his career to be a DJ in Paris. It is one of the few films describing this era with sincere passion, where Daft Punk appears and plays.
Exporting sounds and images
These are the times of the black Martens and the endless parties in Paris. In addition to the French Touch, which abroad was called disco house or nu-disco, France gave the impression of being a magnet for frivolous parties thanks to images in movies and movie soundtracks. In 1990, Luc Besson’s thriller Nikita, about a dangerous security agent, was released, and four years later the director released the hit film «The Professional» with Natalie Portman, which cemented his title of major director of French blockbusters.
In 1993 Daft Punk released their debut Homework, which reimagined space disco, and video for tracks from it were shot by Spike Jonze, Michel Gondry and Roman Coppola. Pitchfork added it to the top 100 albums of the 1990s, though not all critics were thrilled at the time. For example, The Village Voice labeled the album as Choice Cut, meaning that it had tracks that weren’t worth your money or time.
The French Touch phenomenon moves from the French context to audiences in Canada, the UK, Greece and especially Spain, where it wins new fans in Ibiza.
French hat trick
1998 is a very important year in France. The national team scored three goals against the Brazilians in the World Cup final and won the long-awaited championship. On the wave of victory, the French changed the rules of the game and culture. It is no longer associated with long historical films and pop art. Now audiences are introduced to Monica Bellucci and Vincent Cassel through «The Apartment», «Dobermann» and «La Haine», while Patricia Kaas and Lara Fabian are replaced by Manau, Mylène Farmer and IAM.
The movie «Taxi», which is about the relationship between the eccentric cab driver Daniel and the cowardly cop Émilien, was released in the year of the French championship. It’s also one of the first roles for Marion Cotillard, who, thanks to the franchise, will be invited to Hollywood and awarded an «Oscar» for «La Vie en rose». The first film in the series earned $44 million with a budget of $8 million, so producer and screenwriter Luc Besson released several more films within the franchise, and the Americans made a feature-length remake and then a series, but with a focus on Brooklyn.