P’Tit Quinquin is your first TV series. Desire, opportunity, or order?
Bruno Dumont – I was doing my films, but ask me to look elsewhere. Then Arte has made this proposal, which I have not identified. It was on the insistence of my producers that I have come to accept. In fact, I felt like comedy, but a film project in this sense, and I thought that this series would be an opportunity to go to the register.
The comic was not really your specialty. Do you know people who decided Arte thinking about you
No. But it pleased me that solicits me for a project that was not a priori my responsibility. A priori. They gave me carte blanche.
What was your relation to the TV series
Very average. I’m not addicted, I look at from time to time, obviously, since they spend on TV. The new series interest me with their inventiveness staging but I am disappointed by their scripts or their falls I find blah. I got hooked at first, then disappointed by the resolution. This is an original point of view because the highlight of the series is rather the script, the story, the twists … The author of a series is its writer. We feel that there are writers because there are good and strong elements in a series, but we also feel that there are too many people in the writing and production, and it is less well. But hey, I admit that I did not know enough. I do not have a great culture series, it interests me a bit but nothing more.
Which series did you like?
The Man of “Picardie” . Old stuff, Thierry la Fronde of the things I remember as ADO. It was called soap operas rather than series. But soap operas, it goes back to the origins of cinema and even literature, all this is nothing new. Lately I have seen a lot of Jean Epstein and this is a filmmaker who has made a lot of soap operas. One might even find sets in the paint, for example Monet, or music … The idea of series does not date Breaking Bad , it is linked to the history of gender and the art.
What has happened in you to make you confrontiez novelty for you to write a story developing on 4 episodes
I do not know, I did not think, I liked to write a long story. Initially, P’Tit Quinquin was scheduled for six episodes, but was told no, rather 4 Okay, well I did get the 6 in the 4 I mean, that when we write, we record format, the final length, if it’s TV or cinema. The new thing is that I knew I had the field, I could deploy characters, situations, I knew I could be less academic than in a more focused narrative. I could digress, blackmail someone like the girl leave and then return to it later … I liked to play with great storylines, I did not have the habit. The short film is the most difficult year in film, due to lack of time. The time is very important, it helps to be familiar with the characters, to be a world …
We feel this pleasure of digression connected to the serial format, much like the character of Mohammed young, but that is secondary becomes primary in episode 3 …
Yes. The series that I watch are mostly police. Engine P’Tit Quinquin is a police investigation … The series of strange murders in a provincial corn evokes indeed Twin Peaks … I do not have seen! In short, I remembered Humanity in which the police investigation is a good engine to ship the viewer. From this police base, I enjoyed making fun of codes of American cop shows, as with the sequence of veterinary … I went cheerfully.
“I like Crossing boundaries is explosive”
P’tit Quinquin , we feel this irony, but also of belief. What was your state of mind by turning
I came on this shoot with all my baggage, my world, but also the irony including myself. P’tit Quinquin is tragicomic. It’s funny because it’s not funny. What makes me laugh are the situations and humor limit. Cross the boundaries pleases me is explosive. Today, with the well-meaning, it is the edge of not being able to laugh or say certain things. With Humanity , I was still in the reservoir, so, it was not funny. There I am free, I really want to laugh.
P’tit Quinquin Is both a milestone and summary of all your movies?
Yes, it is an apotheosis, germination of everything I did. With P’tit Quinquin , I am very comfortable on my feet. The tragedy is there, but the comic too. It raises many things, it gives a kind of maturity in my work.
This comic vein, we do not feel in The Life of Jesus or Flanders or Hors Satan . What’s got into you?
But I’ve always loved to laugh! The way we perceive me through my films was grim. Now, I’m not sinister at all. I love tragic, I find it beautiful, but I also love Mel Brooks, Monty Python, the Italian comedy … But long ago I could not see how to reconcile these two veins. I thought, I’d like to do a comedy, but what and how? I do not see myself embarking with French comic actors … But I remembered that on my shoots, we always laughed. The comic has always prowled home. I always took my players and my films to the tragic but I knew we were able to laugh, to make things funny. The click of P’tit Quinquin , was to do the same thing as before but by disrupting.
The piping is the same, I take a tragic plot, a story dark … Then I go far enough in the cast. It has deterred me from taking Carpentier, Deputy cop who wants to drive on two wheels, for insurance stories. But I did not want to stunt, I wanted Carpentier. Carpentier is unclear drive, so he brings the comic naturally. I take them as they are and fed me what they are.
One wonders how these amateur actors are aware of the comic effects they generate
They are, by force of circumstance. There the text is cut, they know they are playing a role. With the tragic, we can let go of the players, but with the comic, this is not possible: you have to reply, good timing … It is true that the Commissioner is a bit like that in life. He played with a headset because he did not know his lines by heart. So he played me listening, and watching his marks on the ground. The usual technical elements of filming involved the strangeness of her game.
“It built me a lot more see Lacombe Lucien to see a film about Abbé Pierre “
This touches on an important point of all your movies: it is not clear whether you have empathy for your ‘different’ characters or if you mock them. What do you think?
But, it’s impossible to work with people if you do not care of their mouth! If you do not like the actors, they give you nothing. When I hear such remarks, saying I’d be condescending, mocking, I think that those uttering does not like people. I shoot people just as they are. The boy who plays P’tit Quinquin it is like this and like that, in life as in the movie, well, I do not see what it was extraordinary. The cops or the mentally disabled uncle out a little more of the ordinary. Perhaps, but I met the families, educators. The handicapped uncle made a real acting job, it’s not the documentary. He plays with what it is, but like any actor. Juliette Binoche in Camille Claudel 1915 does the same thing: there is 70% of what it is and 30% of work
I do not see why a disabled would not be an actor. I want to work with people with diverse we are. There are small, large, big, ugly, disabled, well that’s it. In general, cinema, actors are racy. Cute kids film, I can not stand. Fine actors, I can not believe it, because it’s not true. Quinquin he crooked nose but it ends up being beautiful. The beautiful lies not in the physical. I like to be touched and to touch with people whose physique does not necessarily correspond to the criteria of the beauty of cinema. Moral judgments like “was not allowed to work with the unemployed and the disabled” , it’s stupid!
What matters is what we do, it’s work. It happened in Cannes Humanity , when the players have done whistle, it was really disgusting! At home, the actors play, bossent, not Striptease. P’tit Quinquin is racist.
Do you think the political risk of a racist hero series in the context of rising FN
Yeah, but today’s France, it is like that, it’s not France being shown in the media. Cinema must work with reality. Since The Life of Jesus , my characters are both good and bad. Like us. You, I do not know, but I’m not a saint nor a devil. I find it interesting to film characters that are light and shadow. Spectator, I was marked by Lacombe Lucien . It made me a world of good to see a character both sympathetic and junk, and I did not become Petainist either! It’s silly to think that under the pretext that we see a character limit, it would lead the viewer to the same limits. No, instead, it built me a lot more see Lacombe Lucien to see a film about Father Peter.
Let us dig. The character is secondary victim of racism and dies, while the racist is the hero of the series, his nickname even gives him his title. Do not give yourself bonus racist?
No, I think you have to take that risk, heroize evil, because it has great educational value. Seeing P’tit Quinquin , nobody is going to say “Hey, it’s good to type on blacks.” Portraying evil characters, it has existed since the dawn of time, literature, theater … The moral judgment is worthless in terms of fictional characters. Show virtuous characters is that all the time on TV, and that’s why it is zero, it has no impact. Questioning P’tit Quinquin is much more interesting and useful than seeing a character who has all the virtues and loves mankind. Arte has not made me any remarks on racial dialogues. I thought “these are smart people who understand that the film was not this racist destination.”
“The arts are the tools education or communications which should tell us what to think or who to vote for “
Politics, the state of France, are you interested?
I see what happens, I am a citizen, yes, I’m interested. I make films with.
But we feel that you have the desire not to dictate to the viewer what to think.
Because this is not the vocation of cinema to do that. The role of cinema is catharsis, like all arts. The arts have a symbolic power, it is not education or communication tools that should tell us what to think or who to vote for. Unfortunately, the cinema is today: a polished movie, although thinking that I annoys me deeply. Important works are those that challenge us: Lacombe Lucien , Hitchcock, Shakespeare … Medea kills her children, this is not to say that the spectators will kill their mothers, on the contrary. What we see we must rise. When I see a film by Pasolini, it lifts me.
You see a lot of movies today?
Not much. I’m curious about others but I am very busy with what I do. Sometimes journalists say, “hey, what Dumont evokes the work of Smith, style Trucmuche.” I do not know, it’s not for me to say. Current films that have influenced me do not come to mind. Admittedly, it’s been two years since I see that Jean Epstein. It’s fascinating, Epstein. I think at one time, a filmmaker working and kills his peers. Student, I have seen a lot of movies, but at some point, have to stop if we want to make his own films.
Wherever you are more proactive in P’tit Quinquin is in satire institutions: church, police, local political attack for rank
In fact, there is a confirmed there will satirical.. I went there … But it is not new, it has always been present in my films. I like typing on the authority, whether political or spiritual. At the same time, although my ridiculous gendarmes are finally moving. There is always something to be learned from someone. I drop my characters, but I over. It gives the viewer of this delightful kick over the traces experience. We flushed out of there and that’s good. I think we should go frankly laugh at all, because we are protected by the cinema.
In terms of distribution, what is the difference between cinema and TV
For me, it’s the same. Abroad, P’tit Quinquin was released in theaters, it’s cinema. In France, it’s TV. That’s the deal starting with Arte, so I have no qualms. The job remains the same: actors, camera, microphones … After you watch it in theaters, on TV or on a laptop screen, it’s your problem, not mine. But it pleased me a lot to show P’tit Quinquin in Cannes because it was supposed to have anything to fuck it. I thank Waintrop (delegate of the Fortnight). On TV, I like the idea of going to the people, because it is increasingly difficult to get out. Especially to show a film that escapes the marketing and formatting.
The TV production she changed your direction, to the extent that it is faster, you have less time
we shot two months, conditions for a feature film. I paid attention to the wide shots: on TV, we did not head in as the movies. In cinemas, it is smaller than what is seen, on TV it’s the opposite. I have considered. At the same time, the comic is not contemplative. The requirement of laughter made me leave naturally fall contemplative plans.
Yet P’tit Quinquin has your visual signature. What is your relationship to the form?
The shape is important, but I know it involves the risk of pictorialism. It must be filmed so that the viewer feels an emotion, but without it being mannered. It must be beautiful without beauty.
Is this a criticism of some of your films where, perhaps, you too made the beautiful
On some movies, there was the risk, yes, but I have always been careful to save me from this excess. Burlesque P’tit Quinquin prevented me from falling into this trap. Burlesque is superficial at best sense, it is there now. The tragic, we can piss a bit during the movie, but three days later, one is haunted and think it’s great. The comic, no, we do not laugh the next day but immediately. I liked to Cannes to see that people were laughing. Laughter is an immediate experience, which does not preclude think again later.
after P’tit Quinquin this is what?
I’m on a film project, a comedy. That’s what interests me now, it’s new to me, it excites me. I’m not going to Hadewich 2 or Humanity 2 I did not want to redo a piece of cinema that I’ve done.
“When I The Life of Jesus , I said to myself, filming a racist, let’s go”
This desire comedy it is a desire to return things in a period not funny at all?
This reality is also the theater. Everyone plays. You play a journalist, I play filmmaker, political policies play, comedy is permanent. There certainly has gravity, but the lightness is here to save us. I am not not in a merry, I think the tragicomic can treat cheerfully serious subjects. The comic is not going to deprive me of the mystic, that I like. And the mystic can be funny. We must talk of unemployment, FN, but the question is how is it done? it does no good to scream, we must do things differently. When I The Life of Jesus , I thought to myself “are filming a racist, let’s go.” That’s how evil will be redacted – not the film, but the viewer. In P’tit Quinquin , there are all the déconnade, tears, light, shadow … I think it’s fruitful to laugh and cry at the same time, and I find it just by compared to what we are.
Human nature is complex, multiple. We must denounce the duplices speech hypocrites, showing that we are able to embrace his wife and kid in the morning then smashing his dog at night. The cinema is not to lecture but to put you nose in human nature and ask questions. In a movie theater, you can spend two hours with a monster, safe, and it feels good. It’s like a vaccine, and it is the greatness of cinema than to lead this intelligently purification experiment by inoculating evil.
What is unfortunate is that this kind of film was misguided. In the seventies, it was Bergman, Antonioni, Kubrick, etc., which were the theater there, but now it’s over. Now it’s no waves, fun, cui cui cui small birds. Pure entertainment makes people who do not work on both feet. I have nothing against entertainment, attention, but we need both, entertainment and the vaccine.
In your next film, you will work with pro players, or not?
Maybe pros. I worked with professionals in Twenty-nine palms and Camille Claudel, I’m interested in the actors, even if it’s more complicated than lovers. In fact, an amateur is more resistant to the directions of the director, it can quickly tell you to go to hell, he could not care contract, career. But I like it. The problem of pro player, is that he wants to do well, he is in demand, and that’s what disturbs me. The actor knows too much, but the greats have forgotten everything. The great actor is closer to my players P’tit Quinquin.