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Bilitis is the debut film of a well known, British photographer from the seventies, David Hamilton. It’s a 1977 coming of age, French, romantic drama.
Hamilton was famous for hyper-romantic images of mostly young teens. He developed the “blur effect technique” that involved placing a layer of vaseline on the camera lens in order to achieve dreamy and hazy atmosphere.
Although the film received bad reviews, mainly for it’s nudity, I found it truly breathtaking and utterly beautiful. You shouldn’t expect a strong dialogs and intense acting, because this film’s focus is on it’s sensuality, beautiful, long shots and the overall aesthetics. Also, this film was maid in the midst of sexual revolution, which explains a lot.
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Film features wonderful score by composer Francis Lai and
mesmerizing Mona Kristensen, Hamilton's first wife that plays Melissa,
one of two main characters. According to wiki - the film is loosely based
on a poem cycle by Pierre Louÿs entitled “The Songs of Bilitis”,
set in ancient Greece.
I read one review that I completely agree with “…if you look at it like you look at impressionist art, not looking for all sorts of plots and hidden messages, but just to enjoy its simple and straight forward beauty, you will be drawn into a wonderful world and afterwards you'll be longing to live in that world of flowers, fresh life, warm summer in the country, swimming in the sea, having your first love...”
Basically, this is by far the most stylish, almost editorial-esque movie I have ever seen. That should explain so many screenshots and the fact that I, for the first time ever, decided to split a movie post into two parts.
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I’m not going to spoil it for you (a lot), but I’m going to give you a guide or two so you could “read” these pics in a way… Bilitis attends the all-girls school. With the end of the school year and the summer approaching, she decides to spend her vacation at the home of a family friend, Melissa, whose marriage is on the rocks.
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There is also this guy, a young photographer Lucas
(from the beginning of the post) that she’s interested in…
well, kind of…
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to be continued…