Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Hervé Brunon, Irene D'Agostino, Tomazo D'Ulisia, Echo Danon, Maria Teresa De Belis
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Gay & Lesbian
Studio: Strand Releasing Release Date: 04/06/2006
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Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 05/13/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Rodolphe Marconi is a young, talented filmmaker as LOVE FORBIDDEN (Defense d'Aimer) demonstrates. Marconi wrote the script, directed and is the principal actor in this dark but very sensitive melodrama. No, 'melodrama' may be the wrong word here, because 'film noir' seems to suggest its antecedents more clearly. Anyone who loves Resnais' "Last Year At Marienbad" will understand the comparison when viewing this extended meditation on obsession. Rome is the site for an Academy of students from all forms of the arts and the students are from many parts of the world. The film is shot in French, Italian , and English as each set of circumstances dictates. The main character is Bruce (Rodolphe Marconi), a loner of a film maker student who meets a few students as friends ('Orietta' played very well by Orietta Gianjorio) but encounters a 'boarder' Mateo (Andrea Necci) who works in the library and is a writer. Mateo manipulates Bruce into letting him use his 'better room condition' and ends up sharing Bruce's bed - platonically. Bruce becomes aware of his sexual feelings towards Mateo and eventually those feelings are reciprocated and acted out, only to have Mateo exit Bruce's room and life as abruptly as he entered. Mateo avoids Bruce, takes up with an American girl Aston (Echo Danon) and Bruce becomes so obsessed with his lost love that he begins to stalk Mateo. Eventually Bruce and Aston become friends and share frustrations with the self-indulgent Mateo and the end of the tale is at hand as a surprise. The filming is by video and I do not find that interfering in this case. The result is an intimate, secretive appearance to the story, allowing the camera to linger on nocturnal images, feel the ancient rhythms of Rome, and be a voyeur like Bruce. The music score is at times heavy handed (why choose Bach's 'St Matthew Passion' for the sensuous lovemaking between Bruce and Mateo?) and too often it covers the dialogue. Marconi is a fine actor and says more with his body language and eyes than with his words. In all, this is a dark, moody, but sensitive work that deserves more attention than it is receiving. Try it. The English subtitles are excellent."
J. A. Torrontegui | Spain | 07/03/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is probably the best digital video movie I've watched. The travelogue-like scenes do have that cheap home digital video look (I don't think this is high definition), but the character scenes are mostly dark and very well lit, they do their job helping the mood of the movie, and not getting in the way with their uglyness, as happens many times with this format.
Anyway this would be nothing without a decent script, which this movie has too. You really get into the story and the main character's predicament (there's not a scene he isn't in). The less 'nice' parts of his personality (depression, etc) didn't take me away from the movie, as has happened to me with other mentally troubled characters like catherine deneuve's in 'Repulsion', where I always feel they go way too far. Though perhaps it's not a good comparison becouse this one is not nuts.
The dvd is 1.85 non-anamorphic but quite good. You can't take the subtitles off, and they're only on when characters don't speak english. I think that's unfair becouse the movie is really trilingual."
Good low budget import
ccmatts | sacramento, ca United States | 05/04/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Rodolphe Marconi is excellent as a young man obsessed with an individual he met while studying art at a Rome college...This is basically a 1-character study with 2 or 3 supporting roles, and a very limited budget; the script and acting are good, but the film is worth for it's portrayal of someone's borderline fall into the madness that unreciprocal love can bring"
Slow and pretentious
Kardius | USA | 03/16/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"With a better developed script and a higher budget, Rodolphe Marconi's Defense d'aimer (Love Forbidden) could have been an interesting exploration of obsessive love and same-sex attraction between two supposedly straight men (Bruce, a French filmmaker, and Matteo, an Italian library intern). As it is, the film comes across as a amateurishly pretentious film with too many obvious symbols (especially statues and religious imagery), a really cheesy score that overly accentuates the obvious and an unjustified and abrupt ending.
This is a French film, so its all about internal desires and not much sexual action takes place onscreen. The two male leads are cute, although the character of Mateo is not that interesting or good looking to justify the sickening devotion he inspires. There's only a brief sex scene, and a pretty tame one. The rest consists of longing glances between Bruce and Matteo."