Unbelievable, but true: a fiction of Bruno Dumont can trigger laughter. With P’tit Quinquin , his first TV series aired on Thursday 18 and 25 September 2014 on Arte, the author austere The Life of Jesus and The Humanity proves a great filmmaker comedy … by autoparodiant. Long contemplative shots of the Flemish landscapes, amateur actors in Boulogne accent, rough vision of the French mystic and underlying company: four episodes of P’tit Quinquin are the Dumont pure juice, but invigorated by the absurd and burlesque. Interview with a filmmaker ‘optimistic’ , which like much mysticism as “laugh” .
When was your desire to comedy
The desire to make a funny movie, I had long ago but did not know what to do. I must say that in my previous films, the comic still prowling around the tragic there was in the rushes funny things that had not been selected for installation because they had no place to be . Even in the drama, there can be humor in the work of the actor: he can forget his text, drag …
How would you define humor P’tit Quinquin
I did not want to enroll in the French comedy, not because I do not like it, but because I could not see what I could do. The humor of P’tit Quinquin is the “tragic-comic”, which corresponds to the human condition in its duality. When, in the third episode, the little Mohamed dies, we do not laugh at all. But we laughed just before the PLF ridiculous commander. And we will laugh right after …
If the story was not as dark, the series would not be as funny. The grotesque is often there, just push the normal to the absurd. If you come out of the seemly, normal, decent of the comic appears. Say within the first five minutes there was a dead body in the womb of a cow, is to announce the color: the film will be off the rails. And we see very quickly that the derailment is funny. The child characters themselves are rather on rails, they structure more narrative, albeit an older age than sentimental psychology, so strange.
As soon as the other twisted (the commander, Carpentier) arrive, they are even more twisted that children are rights. Children increase the comic potential of the gendarmes, the police increase the melodramatic dimension children. It’s important to take breaks in the comic: you can not laugh all the time, because, with laughter, no more laughs
“The silent film <. / span> always
was my food. “
What are your comedic influences?
Silent film has always been my food. Burlesque is very present, physical body essentially comic. I like Max Linder, a pretty serious player like Buster Keaton, which sometimes generates comic despite himself. And I admire Jean Epstein: in his early films, it inserts the comedy of tragedy. The Adventures of Robert Macaire is a soap opera with so many real dramatic moments of farce, where the actors do anything – and have fun doing it. I also love Tati, obviously, and Jean-Daniel Pollet. I never tire of his Acrobat .
Alana Delhaye and Lucy Caron. – © Roger Arpajou
In Acrobat , the character of Claude Melki creates fantasy by his mere presence shifted. As the commander of P’tit Quinquin …
Making comic, it’s still disrupt the elements set. When I do the police, I’m on track with a highly codified genre. The viewer knows these codes therefore is complicit. Hence my desire to disrupt permanently, including the wacky side of the distribution: in life, the prosecutor is a business that sells cars and the commander is not funny at all.
You have once again shot with nonprofessional actors. Is not it even more risky in the register of comedy
The comedy requires more rigor in the game. This is the first time I’ve worked on so many of the texts. In my films, I did not give dialogue to the actors, just some vague directions to let them lose a little alone. My actors go a bit like buoys on the sea: they know about what’s whlch must say, but do not know how it will happen. But in the comic, you can not do that: you have a stronger framework
The cast he was more complicated than your previous films <.? br />
A little longer. I spent a good six months to find distribution. I initially wanted the set, I found the campaign Odrossel near Cape Gris-Nez. I had the place, farm, landscape, bunker. After I wrote the detective story that I joined this landscape. And the characters, I looked for them there, within 20 km2 they head, focus … When I filmed walking, they are not surprised to walk there, they are endings . payage
I was four or five possible majors, I made them to experiment – I spot right away who can not play, those who are uninhibited enough to play unhindered. The father of Quinquin I knew: the farmer who lent me his pastures for shooting Hors Satan . I joined his horses to the script, I asked her to play. He first said no, he was suspicious, he was afraid. But he came every day on the set, even when he did not have a scene. And he yelled the commander because he was not playing it right.
“The natures thwarted
that produces comedy. “
Bernard Pruvost, who plays him, fills the screen with his mannerisms. You chose for that?
No, his mannerisms were born during the filming, because of contraction and fatigue. His way of overplay, to make boxes permanently was not planned in the script. The better: she created the comic. Her burlesque dimension is also related to the headset he was wearing. At the end of filming, he made his Depardieu, he could no longer hold his text. It was necessary to equip it for not having to redo too much is taken. This is me talking to him in the atrium, he made a big effort of concentration to hear me, and it shows on his face. It has a response time or longer before taking action that creates another comic effect. Especially since sometimes I was purposely delaying my explanation! I also put a tape permanently under his shoe pop when he walked: natures thwarted, it produced the comic
<. span> You mentioned the detective genre as a “rail” …
It takes power to derail rail …
And you déraillez really! You do not solve the murder mystery, for example …
There are major criminal cases, the Gregory case for example, where we still do not know the truth thirty years after the fact. The mystery is rooted in large surveys. And mystery alongside the mystical. Stay in the mystery of who killed, it tends plot: it puts the police in a direction of spiritual quest in the guise of a simple police investigation. This is beautiful, this is research, not discovery. In the detective series, the solution is often disappointing, because it is never at the height of the tension that precedes it.
The non-resolution of P’tit quinquin also has the advantage of allowing you to consider a second season …
Absolutely! It must be recognized that the commander and his deputy Carpentier are still pretty incompetent: there was little reason they find the culprit
Jore and Philippe Bernard Pruvost. – © Roger Arpajou
Did you enjoy playing with the clichés of the detective series
This is not so much the clichés of the detective genre with which I play, the shots in the representation of life in display. These shots create automatic responses in the viewer. The only way to generate surprise, is to break them. Watch the first Quinquin grin: it is unexpected, weird. That’s what interests me weird. I make sure that everything is totally wacky actually seems about right.
“I’m going to fantasy
Through humor, you also mention serious issues that undermine French society.
The world of P’tit Quinquin is a bit small Gaulish village. From the singular, the accidental, the very specific hyper-accentuated the Nord-Pas-de-Calais, I can tell something that speaks to all of us French, who are experiencing difficulties, social and community issues . In the series, I talk about disabilities, racism, institutions. But I’m not a realistic filmmaker. My means of expression are certainly realistic, but used in plastic that takes them elsewhere. In P’tit Quinquin , as in Hors Satan , I go to the
The metaphysical does not exist for me is necessarily physiological. And therefore, visible. I film a pasture saying that food is sacred. But it’s also fun for me to clown in the pasture: the gag draws a mystical power. The air of nothing, even if we have fun, P’tit Quinquin says something profound. One can be in comedy and be serious.
I have great respect for Jerry Lewis, because he never took comedy seriously. Now, with the “tragic-comic” I have the feeling of walking on my own two feet. In the last sequence, everybody cries, but the commander slides and Carpentier continues to the Zouave. The comic start laying the scene, preventing it from being pretentious. And the comic keeps me from pontificating when I go to areas (death in particular) that are potentially pontificating.