Blue is the Warmest Colour

Meeting Abellatif Kechiche


Abellatif Kechiche discovered Cécile Desserle’s painting at the Melting Art Gallery in Lille, France. A total revelation. In June 2012 Cécile Desserle met the film-maker during shooting at an infant school near Arras.

Abdellatif Kechiche« We don’t have the same job but we try to convey the same emotion, our vision of women is similar. We have this desire for enhanced sensuality in common. It is not pure erotica, but the very spirit of femininity which brought us together »

Abdellatif Kechiche loves her sensitivity and the way the artist portrays femininity: curves, lines, strength of expressions, movement and passion expressed through matter and gestures, even the technique where Cécile Desserle uses make-up brushes for pastel shading, obtaining extremely sensual flesh tones.

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The film director ordered fifteen paintings which were hung for the opening evening cocktail (in the film) where the painter heroine Emma (played by Léa Seydoux) exhibits her work. Amongst these works are pictures from Cécile Desserle’s collection and bespoke paintings produced for the film.

Works made for the film

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Many finished and unfinished sketches of Adèle Exarchopoulos were made for Léa Seydoux to use when playing her rôle.

Selection of sketches

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For Cécile Desserle, this is a completely new challenge

First contact


« My first contact was with Léa Seydoux. I was mesmerized by the purity of her features, the strength of her character and her simplicity. We had a coffee together at Arras train station and then we went to the shooting. I met Adèle – a veritable tornado, a human bomb  – on the bench of an infant school in the middle of all the children. Abdellatif told me what he wanted. He is calm, intelligent, passionate. That’s where the adventure began.  »

Adèle during filming

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Total immersion

« It’s not easy when you don’t decide what you’re going to do, you have the impression you are detached from a part of yourself. Abdellatif is surprising. He follows his ideas as he lives them. We have in common this desire for enhanced sensuality, pushed as far as it can go.

His requests arrived, lots of them, day and night, with very few instructions each time which left great freedom but also enormous responsibility. I did the paintings and sketches avidly, waiting for the assent of he who had desired them. His enthusiasm was so rewarding. The words he placed on my pictures echoed my own sensations. It was very intense; he is as greedy as I am. »

Film trailer

At 1’13 Adèle and Cécile Desserle’s sketch