XAVIER DOLAN the sea­son's rev­e­la­tion

25, ul­tra–tal­ented, XAVIER DOLAN, ul­tra–coiffed, hy­per and se­duc­tive ac­tor–di­rec­tor de­liv­ered a visual and emo­tional up­per­cut to this year’s Cannes Film Fes­ti­val with Mommy.

VOGUE Hommes International (English) - - FRONT PAGE - Photographs NAN GOLDIN Styling YLIAS NACER In­ter­view JULIEN GESTER

his self–as­sur­ance, like some boy won­der ex­plain­ing maths the­o­rems to a teacher who has com­pletely lost touch. His next films only con­firmed his au­dac­ity: Dolan isn’t back­wards about com­ing for­wards, chastis­ing Thierry Fré­maux be­cause he didn’t put Lau­rence Any­ways into the of­fi­cial com­pe­ti­tion at Cannes. The day after this year’s win­ners were an­nounced — Dolan shared the Jury Prize with Go­dard — he de­clared, “I have to say I’m dis­ap­pointed not to have won the Palme d’Or.” Dolan dreams big. In Que­bec, liv­ing next door to the Amer­i­can gi­ant com­bined with a uniquely pic­turesque French ac­cent teaches lo­cals to know their place. Not Dolan. A charmer, he quickly sug­gests su­per­star Nan Goldin to take his por­trait for this ar­ti­cle. How could we refuse? “It re­ally is a mise en abyme for me to be pho­tographed by her. Peo­ple only ever ask which film–mak­ers in­flu­ence me, when in ac­tual fact one of the ways I pre­pare for a film is to put to­gether a look­book of images that in­spire me. This is the one for Mommy [$he turns the pages”$] . See, this is Nan, and this one, Nan again$… When we were shoot­ing the film, I went to see my di­rec­tor of pho­tog­ra­phy maybe thirty times to show him th­ese images and tell him that’s what I wanted.” Xavier Dolan never seems in any doubt about what it is he wants, and to want it fast, with ev­ery bone in his body. Prob­a­bly be­cause be­hind all the bravado, be­hind the belief that he can say any­thing, con­front any­thing at an age when oth­ers barely dare make a short film, he ad­mits to work­ing “in fear”, in an age that is rush­ing head­long into dis­as­ter. —A ho­tel restau­rant, Paris, early sum­mer. We’re meet­ing Xavier Dolan, re­cently anointed with the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Fes­ti­val for his fifth fea­ture, Mommy. Be­cause we have a lunch ap­point­ment, and be­ing the con­ven­tional type, we ask for the menu as we take our seats. The 25–year–old di­rec­tor has dif­fer­ent ideas. He balks, hes­i­tates, and fi­nally or­ders three bite–size nems, some­thing he will re­gret the minute they en­ter his stom­ach ($“It’s swel­ter­ing in here, I feel fat, sti­fled, stuffed with food”$). For the next hour, he comes across ex­actly as we’ve got to know him from me­dia ap­pear­ances ($which he now views with sus­pi­cion$) and from grav­i­tat­ing around him at fes­ti­vals: am­bi­tious, em­phatic ($“I’ll have a mac­chi­ato. Make sure it’s de­caf, oth­er­wise my heart will ex­plode”$), prone to pe­cu­liar but well–in­ten­tioned out­bursts ($“You re­ally need to know how bad the cof­fee is in France”$) and procla­ma­tions, pep­per­ing his speech with cu­ri­ous images ($“When you’re stoned, your mind is like a dresser with all the draw­ers open”$).

Xavier Dolan ex­ploded onto cin­ema screens in 2009 with I Killed My Mother, which he wrote, di­rected and played the lead in. He is a pro­duc­tion stu­dio unto him­self, a ($mini$) wave of hip­ster cool ready to en­gulf the world from the shores of Que­bec. Dolan is un­con­tained, un­in­hib­ited by super­ego. Jour­nal­ists are taken aback ($and some­times thrown off–guard$) by

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