February 21, 2007 - In one the strangest turns yet for iconic couturier, Yves Saint Laurent, and his longtime partner, Pierre Bergé, the documentary Célébration, which the duo allowed to be filmed for posterity, has been banned in France. Célébration made its début at the Berlin Film Festival last week after Bergé personally went to court to get an injunction that forbids its showing within the French Republic.

Cinematographer Français Olivier Meyrou was invited into the private salons of the Saint Laurent Avenue Marceau headquarters, where he filmed between May 1998 and early 2001, while Saint Laurent was at the head of his couture house.

Yves Saint Laurent photopgraphed by Andre Rau
Fashionlines.com archives December 2002

The current controversy arises over images of Saint Laurent, who appears awkward and taciturn. A grin is often plastered across his lips, while he constantly smokes, even while pinning lace. The legendary "petities mains" are omnipresent. They never speak directly to Saint Laurent, but whisper among themselves, and in one scene are clearly heard questioning the gown Laetitia Casta is scheduled to wear since "her breasts are too large."

If Saint Laurent says very little, Bergé speaks incessantly for him. He is everywhere behind the scenes, controlling an aged and confused Saint Laurent.

For his part, Meyrou told Agence France Presse that the reason Bergé was not happy was "maybe for the first time in his life, he can't control his image." The producer insisted that he had made a portrait of a fragile artist, and that the film "was never about money, sex or drugs."

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