JuvenilesAnd we’re willing to bet you’ve never seen anything like it!

Hold onto your seats for this one: Juveniles have released the music video for their hit song “Love Me Forever” which tells a lesbian love story with incredible cinematography and the colourful grandeur of a Wes Anderson film.

We chatted with the masterminds behind this video, director Aube Perrie and Juveniles frontman Jean Sylvain, to ask the burning questions you’ll undoubtedly be left with after watching! 

What was the inspiration/concept driving the story?

The original idea was really just a sentence: “What if a belly falls in love with another belly?”. The Rounded Romance theme immediately came to mind with its flourishing universe, keeping in mind not to complicate the simplicity of the idea, which we found playful and easy. It was all about telling the story of a romance in its purest form, from flirting and connecting to embracing and merging. Something joyful, positive, poetic. Two incredibly luminous women being at the centre of it, they were the driving energy and the principal inspiration source during the whole process.

Their curves, their roundness, their strength, their forms, their shapes, their love and their beauty, their womanhood and sincere humanity.

What issues does the music video aim to tackle?

We wanted to show love and beauty; as the name of the song (“Love Me Forever”) indicates, the film’s mantra would be “spread the love with loving the other, yourself and what you are.” It was all about creating something positive with an explosion of gentleness, love, cuteness, sensuality, femininity, humanity and, despite the obvious dreamlike side of “Belly Love,” realism and truth. This film wasn’t meant to create controversy, it’s the never-ending problem: pointing out an issue creates a non-existing one.

Naively, in an ideal world, we would like people to see two people in love, not two pregnant lesbians with all the current issues that go with it, but we don’t live in this world and those issues exist on a daily basis. In “Belly Love,” love doesn’t suffer; it’s not in danger. It is free and expresses itself madly. But at the end of the day, with the current context in the US, here in France and sadly almost everywhere in the world right now, it’s quite impossible to think only about a love story when you do “Belly Love”.

In other words, we know that we also are tackling subjects such as defined sexuality, “LGBTQI+ ” parenthood, ART, surrogacy, adoption, identity, and free love. The making of the film found resonance in our society. Besides, “Belly Love” also echoes other themes that are linked to the LGBTQI+ community, to women and more generally to human beings such as self-confidence, self-love, and self-image.


Behind the scenes – taking a dip


There is also pregnancy, body changes, sexuality and the way society looks at it, sees and talks about pregnant women, which is often very limited, and the way it affects all of us. These themes have been central in the writing process, and have been much discussed with both actresses Flore and Laure. It was important to show these women as women, with both their strength and fragility, their sensuality AND sexuality, which are simply a part of them.

The song title “Love Me Forever” is also about a kind of self-mantra as a response to the fear of not liking yourself anymore. There is a very strong relationship with “ self-report ” in “ Belly Love ” and people watching it that will want to see one woman with her mirror will be right too. Wow, these are a lot of themes actually.

The first and main goal was to portray beauty and it was a real joy for me (Aube) to see, by showing “Belly Love” to relatives just after finishing it, that those closed to me, especially women, first said: “Oh they are so, so cute!”. That was the very first reaction that came out of it, and it was the sweetest and most incredible one I could expect. The second most beautiful reaction came from Flore and Laure, reading the script, who both agreed to take on the roles because according to them, no one was showing pregnant women this way. Being said as a compliment sounded like a necessary and very touching endorsement; hey, I’ll never be pregnant myself.

Was the decision to cast two very similar-looking women intentional or coincidental?

(Aube) Actually, here the form meets the substance and I wanted to use symmetry, geometry, forms, duality, aesthetics, colours, and even ratios to play with and to serve the story. So I needed to work with two women that could fit in perfectly; the simplest way was for two similar women/bellies. So there was a real desire to find those two. Nevertheless, the most important thing to me was the magic this couple would create. Above all it was a matter of finding a certain coherence both in the women casting that would work both visually and chemically.

To find two women that would also accept to go deep down into the adventure with us and to present themselves with sincerity and truth, no artifices and certainly no retouching. Yet, we didn’t know if our means and calendar would allow us to find two very similar-looking pregnant women, 6/7 months pregnant women for this kind of script are not necessarily your typical cast. It turned out that we had the tremendous chance to have it all!

The similar-looking incredible women AND the powerful chemistry and magic! We talked at length with each one, about the story, the meaning and their own vision of it. Flore and Laure both immediately understood “Belly Love,” telling me about the whole universe hiding behind my own words before I could pronounce those.


Behind the scenes – keeping cosy


Actually, the craziest things happened making “Belly Love.” I like to see signs everywhere, and we had so many of those. It was magical really. For instance, those two women who were separately cast didn’t know each other, but had names that were phonetically very close (Flore and Laure). On the second day on set, they found that they were sharing much more than their similar size and bellies, something intimate that will remain a secret, but left us completely stunned by what we were all experiencing here. Mystic. We were very, very, very fortunate in every possible way during this adventure and are extremely grateful especially for the very beautiful encounter with Flore and Laure who are the soul and DNA of “Belly Love.” The energy on set was fabulous and we hope it shows.


Is there meaning or symbolism to their simultaneous pregnancies?

(Aube) Like I said, “Belly Love” is supposed to be fun and simple. So yes, obviously we can find many meanings for their simultaneous pregnancies, but honestly, there is a part of it that is voluntarily hidden, allowing people to see “Belly Love” for the cute love story I hope it is. However, about symbolism, one returns to the questions discussed above. Pregnancy is an absolutely incredible time in a woman’s life to address issues such as love, identity, sexuality, self-respect, self-love, body, and femininity.

Connecting two pregnant women, having the chance to see them falling in love with each other and with themselves is so strong to witness and to film that there is not much to add. It just carries so much happiness and positivity without over-intellectualizing it.

Was Marine Le Pen’s anti-LGBTQ+ crusade in Juveniles’ home country a factor in making this video? 

A way of fighting against the most terrible ignorance, fear, hatred, wickedness and stupidity is to be positive about it and to show quite the opposite and we think this might be the best way. The way to turn “Belly Love” into the most beautiful engagement was to not do it as an engaging film. Show “Belly Love” to a child, he will see two mothers in love.

Our nudity and sexuality are nothing but absolutely and profoundly human, beautiful, simple and banal things. It’s a universal bound. People like Marine Le Pen want to divide people up on what should bring them together, in addition to dividing people on just about everything because they feed and exist on it. Love, sexuality, bodies, joy, life, wow, so beautifully and boringly universal; everyone is entitled to it.

To see “Belly Love” as a simple love story is to be free, it may be our own crusade. All around the world, we feel that freedom is receding, and even if it is so fucking tempting to answer with such justified anger, history and our experience as human beings show us that winning goes by responding with love. Our struggle, if there is one, is to show this love in its greatest simplicity.


The animation gives the video a quirky edge – what was the meaning behind intertwining animation into the live-action story?

(Aube) How can one tell a love story between two bellies? And most of all, how can we show all the energy, all the beauty that comes from the connection between these two women? This is when the idea of including animation in the process came. I started to work with the very talented and “Belly Love”-super-aligned Salomé Martinez a month prior to shooting the live-action story. It was the first time I was mixing animation with film footage and like everything else in this adventure it was really a blind bet. We created something for which we did not have reference and the whole thing was very exciting as we were always wondering if the magic would work.
While the film footage allows me to tell the physical encounter between Flore and Laure, a palpable and visually physical relationship, the animation allows me to tell the viewer the spiritual connection between them, and therefore between their bellies as characters. Like working with two pregnant women – it was absolutely out of the question to use prosthetics, and animation was essential in the process of trying to tell the whole story of these women and to explore what they are, what they feel, and what they experience.
Through a music video, it was for me a very nice way to have the chance to show the whole beauty of these women well beyond the physical aspect, which is already very strong with pregnancy.