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The legacy of Yves Saint Laurent and the fashion empire he built is a work of art all its own. But what about the art that inspired the man? A new documentary, L'Amour Fou, reveals a more personal side of the designer.

The film, which opens today at the Paris Theatre, chronicles Pierre Bergé, Saint Laurent's business and life partner of 50 years, and his difficult decision to auction off their extensive (and extraordinary) art collection after Saint Laurent's death in 2008.

With first-hand interviews, rare archival footage and impressive access to the couple's multimillion-dollar art collection, the documentary tells a captivating story about Saint Laurent's illustrious career and the art that no doubt influenced his work.

The couple's incredible compilation included paintings by Matisse and Picasso, and bronze sculptures from the Qing dynasty. Fetching $477 million at a three-day auction in Paris last February, it was the highest-grossing sale of any private European collection.

But L'Amour Fou is about more than art. It offers a rare glimpse inside the Paris and Marrakech homes where Saint Laurent and Bergé lived, intimately depicting a half-century relationship and the emotional experience of the one left behind.

The Paris Theatre, 4 W. 58th St. (between Fifth and Sixth aves.); 212-688-3800 or theparistheatre.com

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