Blue Valentine tells the story of a young couple as they’re approaching the end of their relationship whilst cutting seamlessly from past to present. The past, shot hand held on Super 16mm shows us the beginning of Dean and Cindy’s relationship, full of romance and hope, we see clips set over several weeks as they fall in love. We catch up with them in the present, set in 24 hours and effectively the day that leads to the failure of their marriage. Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling put in magnificent performances as the story’s protagonists. Beautifully captured by cinematographer Andrij Parekh and sound tracked by Grizzly Bear, Blue Valentine is currently standing as one of my favourite films of the year.
I managed to grab a quick interview with director Derek Cianfrance to discuss the film and some of the methods and techniques he used throughout shooting.
Blue Valentine (2010)
Dean and Cindy live a quiet life in a modest neighborhood. To the casual observer, everything appears normal, if a bit subdued. But a closer examination reveals a couple caught in a downward spiral. They appear to have the world at their feet at the outset of the relationship. However, his lack of ambition and her retreat into self-absorption cause potentially irreversible cracks in their marriage.
I wanted the film to feel visceral so that when the characters were moving the cameras were moving; you’re actually in the flesh and blood of these characters.