Saint Laurent is a commissioned work, a sense of producers. Is that part of the challenge for you was not to achieve something very personal from a thought by other project
I do not like the expression too “commissioned film” because it implies that there was a script already written that I would have been happy to stage. However, apart from the proposal to make a feature film Yves Saint Laurent , there was nothing … Thomas (Bidegain, co-writer) and I left scratch. That said, it’s true that I wondered how I develop myself in a public movie more “heavy” greater. How not to lose his freedom when the budget grows? This is a real question. And demand more or less implicit brothers Altmayer (producers) was indeed I respect certain codes biopic while perverting.
You now assume the term “biopic”? In Cannes, you were using as the lip …
It is a separate genre, the biopic. It was nice to go with the best of intentions, there are plenty of through where you can fall if we are not vigilant and proactive, for the simple reason that begins telling things that n would not have imagined if the person had not existed. For example, we would never have invented the character will draw in Marrakech. But as Yves Saint Laurent and Marrakech is inseparable, it is done. The reality we shoot. Some biopics rusent focusing on very short periods, such as the Van Gogh Maurice Pialat or Last Days Gus Van Sant , but here, insofar as the action takes place over ten years, there were chokepoints, elements observed. To respect while breaking them. Afterwards, if I use the term “biopic” lip service, it’s because the genre has a bad reputation, including me. There are very few I like.
I must say that many are bad …
By definition, the biopic is a film about somebody a known who has a destiny, but the problem usually is that the scenarios are working to analyze all this to explain why that person becomes famous, to make human and ultimately to demystify. But I love when movies mythifies. We did not want to tell how Saint Laurent Saint Laurent has become but what it cost daily to be Saint Laurent Saint Laurent.
Will he biopics that find favor to you?
I do not want to make generalizations, there are very good. The Fountainhead (King Vidor, 1950, the architect Frank Lloyd Wright ), it’s beautiful. I also have an affection for Aviator , even if it’s a problematic film. Martin Scorsese are not trying to not simple exercise: make a portrait of a rich man, not necessarily pleasant nor excusable which is always in excess. It’s more ambitious than La Vie en Rose and his character that comes from the suburbs and dream of success … There is fabricated empathy inexpensively. The viewer said, “Hey, it could happen to me too. “I do not like it.
The biopic is a rather bad guys scorsesienne specialty, Raging Bull to Wolf of Wall Street . You also, by the way, you suggest in your movie that Saint Laurent was not a saint …
Yes, it may be simplistic, but I liked the idea of holiness, martyrdom. It is “holy” in the sense of “look how I suffer to get to create.” It was the great subject of his life. He had to constantly create and he suffered to sink into
depression, drugs and alcohol. One advantage of the biopic is that it provides material bigger than life . There was no effort to do so that the public will believe because it’s all true. The audience immediately accepts excess. In Yves Saint Laurent , there is a side “The Shootist” which is very appealing. It allowed me to make a decadent silky very visual movie, in the etymological sense of the word. This is really the end of an era.
One of the plagues of biopic is the time re fake. What is the secret to escape
So that’s anxiety. Especially for a period as the 70 because it is very close to us. It was easier to recreate the 1900s in of Tolerance (2011) because we do not have that memory. It is possible to invent, to embroider. My credo is that we have the right to lie from the time it is taken. The documentation is this: move away. These are not approximations but things that change for very specific reasons. How not to fake? We must be attentive to every detail. A good way to not crash is to avoid multiple scenes on location. It is often that which is mortal in period films. For of Tolerance I do not want there to be horses, carts … The action takes place in a brothel, so the idea of confinement was justified. Saint Laurent is also in jail somehow. His contact with reality, are extremely rare. It is in a bubble, in his world of creation and destruction. If you do not see outside, it’s not a budget issue. I just could not imagine walking down the street, chatting at sidewalk cafes.
The great aesthetic reference here is Visconti …
On the idea of the end of beauty, yes, it was necessary. Saint Laurent is a pretty viscontien character who was obsessed with Proust, as Visconti. Even though he never completed his adaptation of In Search of Lost Time , this project has infused all his other films. Thomas was quickly revised Conversation Piece (1974) to have a basic working and dialogue.
and Helmut Berger (favorite actor Luchino Visconti , who plays Saint Laurent old) , when you thought of him?
It is the first actor to which it was thought. It was obvious. But Helmut is not simple. He can not learn his lines, he would not read the script … It does not always connect. Recently, he even broke everything on a plane and locked himself in the bathroom of an airport for three hours. I thought at one time we could not do it. Then he calmed down, arriving on set when he saw the sets, lighting, camera 35mm. I think it took him back to when he was a huge star, as he turned his classics. At Cannes, he cried a lot, I had to help him up the stairs. It’s really a forgotten actor, he did not make great movie since The Godfather 3 . My mother was very impressed when she knew I was going to run with Helmut Berger , but for young people, it does not mean anything.
The film lasts 2:30. It was what you consider from the start?
I quickly felt that would be beyond the two hours, but I had not anticipated when writing the scenes between Yves ( Gaspard Ulliel ) and Jacques Bascher of ( Louis Garrel ) would also be stretched. The script just said “Interior night. Yves Jacques is at. They take drugs. “From there, it can take five seconds or five minutes … Things have gone very well and between Gaspard Louis, and when a good atmosphere settles on a plateau, the director is like a vampire. He pounces on those moments. So now, my Saint Laurent is 2 hours 30 minutes, which makes it a little more difficult to distribute. Producers were initially a little bitched, but they understood by seeing that it was the right time. Besides, I’m looking, I do not find examples of films about the passing of time without taking the time to do so. You know, you
There The Pier Chris Marker …
Yes, it’s true. That said, I do not think the producers would have been delighted that I like their book movie The Pier ! (laughter.)
Two feature films about the fashion coming out the same year, what does it say you believe in France in general and French cinema in particular
past seven or eight years, everyone is looking to make biopics. There were also two Coco Chanel … Saint Laurent is a key figure who is universally known, it is not illogical that two people have the same idea at the same time. I do not think it betrays a lack of originality of the hexagonal film, I rather tend to find extremely diverse production these days. On France in general, I do not know what to say except that I have fantasized about the idea of making a film abroad and I am really broken face. I turned of Tolerance in response to that, to take something very French. The nineteenth century, brothels, it is almost at the Musée d’Orsay … It’s the same approach with the character of Saint Laurent: since I can not go anywhere else, I decided to be very “local “. . Extremely French and universal at the same time
Sometimes biopics are a little too self-portraits, not
I do not say: “Saint Laurent, c ‘ is me “because it would be pretentious but, inevitably, you can not cut it. I recognize myself in this idea of creation in pain, in that fight depression by work and neglect. Here, Pierre Bergé! (Incredibly, Guillaume Gallienne , who plays Pierre Bergé in Yves Saint Laurent Lespert happening in the street, a few meters from us) .
No. However, I met Pierre Niney (which embodies the designer on the film Lespert) for an audition. I did not take because I thought he was too young and I thought it would not play Saint Laurent 40 years. It seemed light in weight.
You’ve seen the movie Lespert
Neither. It saves me having to play the game of comparisons. But it haunts me these stories because even at that time of of Tolerance , Canal + broadcast simultaneously a series on the same subject (Brothel) . Well, these are things that happen, even if it’s not super nice.
and Pierre Berge, you will show him the film
I know he wants to see it. I told him also proposed to organize a screening, but it has not yet responded. (The interview was conducted on July 2.)
In the “war” movies on Saint Laurent, Bergé was left to sponsor the project less “artistic” of the two. You think he’s aware of the irony
It’s not irony, it’s an unfortunate paradox, and I think he regrets it. He will not say openly, but he told me he was a pity that our meeting has not passed in good conditions. Now I’m obviously very curious to hear his opinion on the film.
Interview Frédéric Foubert
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