the lover

This is the first time I've taken screenshots from a movie, but I felt compelled to do it because it's such a visually beautiful one. The Lover came out in 1992, when I was 13, and I vaguely recall that there was a bit of a fuss around it because it was pretty sexy for a movie starring an 18 year old (the exquisite Jane March, who was apparently dogged by rumours about the erotic scenes in the movie). I read the book by Marguerite Duras a few years later, assuming that since it was a French autobiographical novel written by a woman and set in Vietnam, it would be the kind of thing for which I am a complete sucker. I read it on a train ride and I mostly remember feeling bored and and apathetic towards it (I will probably revisit it soon since it's always fascinating to me to see if and how my taste can change).

I recently realized that The Lover is on Netflix, so I watched it again. It was probably because I was a bit creeped out by the age of the female protagonist (17 in the movie, 15 in the book) and her relationship with a 32 year old man that I couldn't get too emotionally involved in the movie, despite moments of tenderness. The movie does plod on and on into unrequited anti-climax, which is how things tend to go in life, really, but over the years since I watched it the first time, the images have come back to me. The hat, the shoes, her braids, the silk slip dress. I wouldn't be surprised in the least if these two mentioned it as an influence.

(These screenshots are of poor quality but my local video store closed and the library where I work only has VHS copies. Streaming video it is!)


Jessica: You're sweet, and thanks! I like it too.

malin: Thank you, aw.

jessica: Oh, nice! Geoff pretty much taught me everything he knew but I filtered it through my weird and semi-lazy brain. Thank you!

sn: Thank you! It's actually currently covered in all sorts of other things -- I must have just tidied up when I took that picture.

Caitlin Rose: Thanks so much! I did take an online photography course once but I stopped doing the homework after the first week. So boring!

EvaForeva: Thank you! For a long time I didn't even think to try b&w myself, but I think it was after seeing some of Hannah's pictures (The Loved One, Hannah & Landon) that I thought I would try.

May: Thanks, May! Yeah, I'm not a fan of high contrast. The prints turned out quite nice and soft, but these are so grainy since they're scans from the negatives.

Nicole: Thank you! I should have said that there's nothing wrong with student work... ha! Yes, MBV is the best!

Charlyn W - Hopscotch: Thank you! Those qualities are just what I was hoping for.

Phara: I agree, and thank you.

caroline: Thank you! That's kind of you to say.

katieleigh: Thank you! I like the grain as well. I don't actually have any idea how the b&w will turn out when I take the picture, so when I get the results it's always a happy surprise.

Camille: Thank you! I like the Crosley. It wasn't crazy expensive and it's just the thing for me. I'm not much of an audiophile, though.

Lavender for Lemon: Thanks!

lovemaki: I sometimes go to Black's since it's two minutes from where I live, but sometimes I go to Annex Photo or Downtown Camera. I've heard good things about West Camera, and I've also tried Pikto and Toronto Image Works. I'm not super particular about it, though, and usually just go where it's cheapest.

casey: Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed!

Ella: Thanks! The funny thing is actually hate that perfume! I can't wear it. I wore it one day that I happened to get a migraine and I could never wear it again. Sad. But the bottle is lovely.

yuko: Aw yeah, thanks! Love the Pony fans.

amy: Thank you!

Kate: Yes, you should do it! It's a whole new world. Ha.

Fern: Those came from modvintageshop.etsy.com -- one of them has no lenses in it, but the other pair I wear often and love.

Casie Jean: Thank you!

etre-soi: Thank you! She loves hiding behind the curtain.

bigBANG studio: You are always so kind! Thank you. It's funny, I get the word "calm" a lot, and I have to wonder how that happens since I feel like my life is a bit messy! Maybe it's not, though. Hard to be objective about these things.

CoCoon: I'm glad you said that, since that was the goal!

kristina: Thanks!

kristin e bazan.: Thank you! I actually really love the grain myself. I'm not sure if pros consider grain to be bad or not, but meh, I like it!

amy: Thank you! I'm glad you see it that way! I was worried that some of my pictures would end up looking like product placement when that was not the intention. I just wanted to show my life as is. And wow, thanks for telling me that! I love hearing about tote-spottings in Toronto. Thanks for ordering! Actually I just peeked at your address and we're neighbours! You also live on the same street as my friend Alicia and her sister and I've given them totes as birthday presents -- maybe it's them that you've seen!

Laurel: Oh, such a great thing to hear! I love that. It's a really great edition! It turns out that I have two copies, but this one has the better cover.

Ashley: You're sweet, thank you.

Rhiannon: Aw, thank you! And I'm so happy to hear you love the tote!

Stephanie: Amazing!


  1. i remember watching this movie with my first boyfriend when i was about 18 as well. it is to date one of the sexiest, most visually captivating love stories i've seen, though you are right in that it does stumble along to an unrequited end. but hey, that is certainly life. thanks for another great post!

  2. Wow, thank you so much for the screen shots... The Lover was one of my favourite french/english collaboration movies. It has a slower pace, but when you try to understand the vision of the director its pretty awesome. I remember one long scene of a bus driving around a corner, filmed through a balcony, just perfect... Well 17 and 32 is also not exactly a Lolita situation, when you consider that in most western countries the legal marriage age is 16 ... :)

  3. perfect. i wouldn't mind living during this time xx

  4. oh beautiful photos. and it's on netflix so I'll have to watch it. ah netflix, how I love you.

  5. I just finally watched this last week, and it was as glorious to look at as I had imagined. Jane March is fucking ridiculous, how the hell are you born with a face like that I mean...? Also now every time I see Charlotte Kemp Muhl's Maybelline commercial all I can think of is how much she looks like Jane March. Am I right or am I right??

  6. I just read this recently, haven't seen the movie yet though! The weird romance isn't so compelling to me, but what I did like about the book were the descriptions of colors... that's what really stuck out to me.

  7. I had to watch this film after reading the book in my college French class. Beautiful book, gorgeous cinematography, and the costumes....

  8. thanks for the recommend, i have come upon this movie several time in my netflix hunts and never put it in my queue. i will now.

  9. I feel exactly the same way about this! I loved the look of the movie, I loved the book cover to death, and found reading it forgettable. Oh well

  10. have you already read the book? her life is amazing, so many lives lived.

  11. so obviously you've read the book, as usual i come back to read the post after i've enjoyed the photos first...duh

  12. ohhh..such beautiful film stills. i will watch this on Netflix! thanks for sharing. xo

  13. I totally remember when this film came out. Oh the controversy.... she really did have the perfect wardrobe for traveling didn't she? Thanks for the reviving this one!

  14. i have loved this movie and now must read the book!

  15. It wasn't until I looked at the screenshots that I realised I'd seen this film, many years ago. For some reason I'd forgotten? But now I've remembered, I've realised how much certain scenes have stayed with me ... it is a visually powerful and beautiful film, even if the content is a little unsettling ... I'm intrigued now to see what I think of the book.

  16. i'm sold. this film is now on my "must watch" list for the summertime, so thank you! good books and old movies to kill lazy days...YES PLEASE.

  17. what a beautiful post anabela. I saw the lover a few years ago and I was struck by its aesthetic like you. Jane March is so exquisite isn't she, she reminds me of a little doll.

  18. I love everything. I want that cig case, too classy

  19. Anabel, I have one word for you: INDOCHINE.

    Please tell me you've seen it, but if you haven't you're in for a dramatic, sweeping, EPIC treat.

    To entice you: a stunning Catherine Deneuve, colonial French Indochina in the 1930s, illicit interracial love affairs, revolution, escape, and the independence of Vietnam. One of my all-time favorite movies. Prepare to swoon.