Arts

Sketches of a Gaze: Céline Sciamma’s Watchful Cinema

In writer-director Céline Sciamma’s landmark lesbian film Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019), set in eighteenth-century France, the young noblewoman Heloïse (Adèle Haenel, who is Sciamma’s former partner) refuses to sit for a portrait. Soon to marry an unknown Milanese man, for whom the portrait is destined, this is the only rebellion she can wage.