12.02.2020
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«Matthias & Maxime»: meet in Russia

Xavier Dolan's new film is screened in Moscow

Матиас и Максим
Reading time 3 minutes

On 10 November, at Moscow’s main premiere and festival venue, the «October» cinema hosted an event to celebrate the release of Xavier Dolan’s eighth film in Russian cinemas.

In anticipation of the premiere
In anticipation of the premiere

What is so remarkable about «Matthias & Maxime»? When «The Death and Life of John F. Donovan» was released, many fans rebuked the director for being typical and «plastic», a departure from his unique, distinctive style (all the while the cast could boast such stellar names as Kit Harington and Natalie Portman). Indeed, Xavier himself later admitted in an interview with «Apartamento» magazine that he saw many flaws in it and was disappointed with the result.

«Matthias & Maxime» is a return to the personal, intimate and «chamber» aspects of Dolan’s work that those who have long followed his career appreciate. In it, he revisits his favorite themes. These include the characters’ troubled relationship with their families, their attempts to understand and accept themselves and, for the filmmaker, the crucial question of perceptions of homosexuality. This time, Xavier has also tackled the theme of friendship, which is central to «Matthias & Maxime»: it is through this that the characters are drawn.

Friendship... or something more?
Friendship… or something more?

«Matthias and Maxime» are at an age when they are still young, but not enough to be part of a generation that has abandoned labels in favor of freedom and independence. When I was graduating from high school, the guy who kissed the guy was «gay», the girl who kissed the girl was «straight». Now, thank God, notions of sexuality and gender have broadened compared to what they used to be, but that does not mean that there are no barriers in our minds that prevent us from accepting the new», – the director said.

The film is shot with Dolan’s trademark aestheticism, evident in every detail, the clothes and hairstyles of the characters or the interiors in which they meet for dinner at Maxime’s farewell party. A special role here is given to the musical accompaniment, a melodic and sensual soundtrack written by Canadian composer Jean-Michel Blais.

«Where did I get the confidence to become a filmmaker at eighteen? Nowhere. You just have to believe in your films and, in time, others will believe in them too. Now, I feel the critics have already recognized that I’m a director and not a teenager whose homework they have to check». – Xavier Dolan

After the screening in «October», Xavier got in touch with Russian fans via Skype. From the conversation with the director, they learned that the entire company of friends shown in the film consisted of Dolan’s buddies, as well as about his desire to dedicate «Matthias and Maxime» to four respected directors of recently released LGBT films (Eliza Hittman, Luca Guadagnino, Joel Edgerton and Francis Lee). Already at the very end of the conversation, Xavier delighted fans with a promise to come to Russia, so now we can hope for a face-to-face meeting with the Cannes triumphant.

Nice to see you, Xavier!
Nice to see you, Xavier!
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