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“Making a movie in France is a means of claiming thanks”

Why a brand new movie in Paris?
Any excuse is nice to spend time on this metropolis that conjures up me! I first considered having this new story carried out by American actors. However I mentioned to myself: “And why not shoot it in French?” “I’ve all the time dreamed of being a European filmmaker, and many of the movies that made me need to do that job had been French. Figuring out that the movie will make much less cash in the USA, as a result of the general public there doesn’t like subtitles… However I assumed it will be enjoyable, so I needed to boost the problem.

How do you write purely French characters whenever you’re American?
Feelings are the identical in every single place. I imagined the situation in English, then I gave it to be translated. The problem is for my Parisian heroes to be credible, even when the best way I take a look at them stays that of a New Yorker. On set, I allowed the actors to alter the dialogues once they felt they sounded improper.

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I can solely let you know that this can be a detective movie, a critical story of crime and punishment

Are you able to inform us concerning the plot?
I can solely let you know that this can be a detective movie, a critical story of crime and punishment. With a dose of romance, after all. Most likely as a result of after I was writing I used to be caught at residence, anxious and disadvantaged of going out due to the pandemic.

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Learn additionally – EXCLUSIVE. The JDD went to the set of Woody Allen’s subsequent movie

How did you select your French actors?
I used to be in New York and I commissioned a casting director in Paris. I obtained a video of Lou de Laâge and I mentioned to myself after I found it so shifting: “Who is that this lady who’s so lovely and who additionally performs comedy nicely? Melvil Poupaud has the category and magnificence I used to be searching for, and Niels Schneider, whom I had by no means heard of, seems to be a really highly effective actor. To not point out Valérie Lemercier, who’s a really fantastic actress, in a position to juggle between humor and depth. They make issues simple for me.

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Nevertheless, you do not discuss to them a lot on set…
I do not direct, I right [« I don’t direct, I correct »]. I do not need to poison their minds by giving them concepts. They arrive, they learn the script, they’re sensible folks, they know what they should do. In sixty years of profession, I discovered that their intuition is usually higher than mine. It has usually occurred to me to see an actor not play a scene as I had imagined it and to be disenchanted at first, earlier than realizing in the course of the modifying that he was the one who was proper and to maintain his model .

After I began filming, the town imposed its personal photographs and I opted for a unique strategy

Do French actors have one thing additional?
They need to do nicely and make their director glad, which fits me very nicely! The actors have all the time been very good to me, I’ve by no means argued on set with one in every of them. It should be mentioned that I don’t contradict them: if somebody explains to me that he doesn’t need to put on this jacket, I recommend that he select yet another to his liking; if one other would not like her haircut, I inform her to model her hair nevertheless she desires. A very powerful factor is that everybody feels snug to be good in entrance of the digital camera.

Is that this filming extra difficult than that of Midnight in Paris?
Twelve years in the past, the aim was to create an environment to return in time. This movie, I first considered directing it in a really French model, stuffed with vitality and in black and white. Like Jean-Luc Godard, who was an inspiration for a lot of filmmakers of my technology. However after I began filming, the town imposed its personal photographs and I opted for a unique strategy. My aim is to catch the curiosity of the general public in a short time: for a comedy, the humorous scenes should comply with each other with out downtime; when there may be suspense, the viewers should be intrigued sufficient to need to know what’s going to occur subsequent. From the second they begin serious about what they will eat once they go away the cinema, you have misplaced them!

What pushes you to all the time take again the digital camera?
After I end a movie, I spontaneously search for a brand new story and shoot it. If I can not make one other function movie after this one, though I have already got a script in thoughts, that is okay: I will be glad to direct the play I’ve completed or to jot down books. I’ve all the time discovered folks to finance my cinema, nevertheless it’s troublesome as we speak: viewers now watch movies at residence, of their beds… It isn’t as thrilling anymore.

Parisians are good to you. Does a particular bond unite you to French spectators?
My first function movie, Take the sorrel and get out! [1969], they preferred it and confirmed their assist for the younger international director that I used to be. After I dared extra experimental tasks, they adopted and inspired me greater than the American public. Making a movie in France is a means of claiming thanks. I subsequently hope that this one will probably be profitable, even should you can by no means predict something earlier than modifying… I guarantee you: a catastrophe is all the time potential! However I’ll do my finest to make sure that this fiftieth movie, which I needed in Paris, is an effective Woody Allen.

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