Lesbian love movie opens amid sex scene row

Lesbian love movie opens amid sex scene row
A file picture shows French actresses Lea Seydoux (L) and Adele Exarchopoulos kissing French-Tunisian director Abdellatif Kechiche as they pose during a photocall for the film "Blue is the Warmest Colour".

PARIS - A lesbian love movie that scooped best film at Cannes opens next week, but its Palme d'Or has been tarnished by a row between the director and his stars over the filming of its graphic sex scenes.

The three-hour-long "Blue is the Warmest Colour" caused a sensation at this year's Cannes film festival, making stars out of its two lead actresses, Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux.

The pair were all smiles on the French Riviera as they posed for photographs with the film's French-Tunisian director, Abdellatif Kechiche.

Chairman of the jury Steven Spielberg hailed it as a "profound love story", adding that the judges had been "absolutely spellbound" by the brilliance of the women's performances and "the way the director... let the characters breathe".

But fast forward several months and the mood surrounding the film has soured, with bitter complaints from both actresses about Kechiche's working methods.

In an interview published on September 1 by US website The Daily Beast, Exarchopoulos said that she had been unprepared for the extent to which Kechiche required her to immerse herself in the role.

"Once we were on the shoot, I realised that he really wanted us to give him everything. Most people don't even dare to ask the things that he did, and they're more respectful," she said.

Seydoux complained that a 10-minute sex scene in the film took a full "10 days to shoot".

And both women complained about a fight scene.

"It was horrible. She (Seydoux) was hitting me so many times and (Kechiche) was screaming 'Hit her! Hit her again!'," Exarchopoulos said.

With the film due for release in France next week, the pair again aired their complaints, with Seydoux telling TV magazine Telerama that filming was "horrible" and that she did not think the film should be released.

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