CANNES, France (AP) — His surviving gay lover Pierre Berge didn't want this film to see the light of day.
But on Saturday, the controversial, no-holds-barred story of one of the 20th-century's greatest fashion designers, Yves Saint Laurent, who died in 2008, screened in competition at Cannes.
The two-and-a-half hour feature examines how the late, great couturier's life was torn apart by casual sex and drugs and depicts his charged erotic relationship with a third man, Jacques de Bascher, who died of AIDS in 1983.
It's little wonder the movie ruffled 83-year-old Berge's feathers.
Director Bertrand Bonello's "Saint Laurent" is a dark and sexually explicit movie, featuring Gaspard Ulliel, who lost weight and bared all to play the title role, and Louis Garrel in the role of Jacques.
It's the second feature film on the legendary designer with the dark rimmed spectacles in less than six months. Unlike the first authorized film by Jalil Lespert, the Bonello project was publicly opposed Saint Laurent's surviving life and business partner, Berge.
Scenes of full nudity, drug use and references to hard gay sexual practices litter the film, spliced with contrasting scenes of the precision of the fashion atelier.
The producer says the film was made not to attack Berge but to represent the truth behind the softly-spoken creator of the "Le Smoking," who remains one of fashion world's most enigmatic figures.