Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Raymond Depardon: “The trip saved my life” – The world of photography

His goal, listen to what the people met in the street, had to say without asking them questions, letting them talk in the privacy of the caravan, on camera. Meanwhile, Depardon photography life around with his Leica, hence the simultaneous publication of an eponymous book. He explains why he so close to his heart to photograph, film France, but his unwavering need to travel. 75 years old, it displays an intact desire to hit the road.

 - what was your original intention with this film, filming all the protagonists in a similar setting in a caravan, no questions asked they be?

I wanted to make audio snapshots, filmed and not posed. This is exactly the same approach with the decisive moment. They steal photos, you must enter, otherwise we fall into the pose. If someone submits a question, it completely directs the turn of events.
class=”autobr” When I started making films, I discovered clips, cinema verite, direct cinema. Today, all this is a bit far, but I felt it had to have a device and power constraints for some, even partially and very impressionistic way, try to shoot people and their conversations .

 - Why did you title the film Les Habitants the French and not

that’s inhabitants compared? the responsibility that we have as citizens. There is no privacy, these issues concern us. It seemed to me that medium-sized cities – neither rural nor suburban – were somewhat neglected, north to south. I did not know what their people were thinking, they were very close to events, such as Charlie Hebdo attacks ; Is it that they were concerned by globalization in different ways …

 - The peasants wore a look at a very specific socio-professional class. You seem increasingly broaden the scope of your work since 2004 in the hexagon …

As I do a lot of shuttles between the province and Paris, I try to have a rather general point of view, as I did in 2004 (note: La France de Raymond Depardon 2004-2010 ). When I started this project I was told “you kidding, it’s inphotographiable France.” In bookstores, there is nothing about France. Only pieces of France, with all the most beautiful areas as each other, always with the famous “land of contrasts” highlighted. Why not make all France? I thought he was trying to gain altitude. If I make a film and I let people express a little, I do not have that thirty or twenty, but never mind. We filmed one hundred to eighty people to select twenty-five the end. For a month, I watched the film projection – I am part of that generation that projects movies. We arrived at a kind of concentrated, as balanced as possible.

- What do we these people in France

They say a lot of things? . They say things that I do not read the editorials in the major economic daily. They tell us that the family is still a strong connection. That women have not really found their place. That stepfamilies have reached all of society: it creates a waste of time and energy it takes two apartments … It’s weird, it does not spring so much anger about globalization, about politics but rather on the daily.

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Two of the protagonists of the film Les Habitants
© Raymond Depardon / Magnum Photos

- the sound seems to be the project’s pivot with flowery language, accents and expressions that provide information on places, social origins … what book is it complementary to the movie?

One of the features that separates my work on the photo and the cinema is listening. This is the third way, which is not necessarily mine initially. I do not do pictures when I make a film, because there is more, which is at least 50% of the work is the soundtrack, with Claudine Nougaret, who is a sound engineer and producer. I would not exist as a filmmaker if I had made the animated picture.
class=”autobr” On Les Habitants , while shooting, I missed a little bit and I saw around me, there were photo opportunities. I used a Kodak film that has the distinction of having made a Tungsten, very soft. During my project on France to the room 20 x 25, I told a French chef operator that six hours a day, six months a year, France is tungsten. She replied that it was not possible, but I told him that if, from October to March, six hours a day, we are in tungsten, it was a cold light, softer. So I loaded my Leica with this film, the same that was in the camera. I liked it well, because we were in May, June and July, it was bright, even in the north. France is very bright. And rather cheerful: we tend to think, seen from Paris, the province’s sad, that’s not the case

 - being photographer collection of interviews with Christian Caujolle, you talk about the difficulty of working in France, saying that you return every fortnight at home between 2004 and 2010 when you could spend eight straight month in Chad …

It’s harder. This is the place where we come from, where we have family, we reached more personally. The French have a strange relationship with their territory. When talking to the Americans, they always express pride in eternally photograph Rocky Mountains, while they exterminated the Indians. They would also have ten thousand reasons to feel guilty. Not at all ! They appropriate their country, even as exiles Robert Frank. You have to work on France. We do not work enough on France, all media, photographers, filmmakers, me

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The caravan which was used where the protagonists were filmed somewhere in France …
class=”autobr” © Raymond Depardon / Magnum Photos

 - When trilogy peasants Profiles you took your subjects in photos: why not have photographed the protagonists of the Inhabitants

I had? beautiful texts on the farmers, I would not let them lose and I had photographed before, after, during. There, people came out of the caravan, they were in a hurry and there is the image rights too. It is not easy in France. I was recently with Martin Parr in London, I said, “Is what we can do photos you want in the street? “He said:” Raymond, you upset me! “. I control my entire production chain, so I watch the legends and I avoid making pictures that could impair or prejudice. But I think you need to photograph the street. For the film, we made contracts for each person, dispositions, as we did for previous projects including the courthouse (note: egregious offenses , 10th room – instants d’audience ). I also pay attention to mounting that people are not distorted.

 - The presidential election approaches: some campaign like the one where you follow Giscard in 1974 she would have a meaning today?

Yes, it would make sense. But there is too much of communicating now. Candidates will go to confront this France that I showed in The Inhabitants , which will not necessarily be there to reach out to them, but it will listen. There are plenty of people who do not come to the rallies. It must be taken into account. Making a film would be interesting. But I think it was a golden age when I turned A house party in 1974 with Giscard. I can see there how Holland behaves with cameras. He masters, he is very careful, it will control. Perhaps a young, Macron and Le Maire, while in that period, a little hesitant …

 - you have often spoken of anger as an engine: you are where with anger?

It is always a little there. It fades with age. It is rather angry or disgusted when one is young. Anger or pride peasant has always acted as a motivation in me: fear of returning to work at the farm, because I was not gifted to accomplish this farmer profession; but also to stimulate myself and improve. As this curiosity that motivated me to see what was happening elsewhere, foreigners, the English, the Americans, publications, what others are doing.
class=”autobr” Then finally provide the means, materials. I am French in an English-speaking agency (note: Raymond Depardon is a member of Magnum Photos ), I know very well the importance of this expression. What is meant by that? We must have the right equipment, we like, we tried, having the right tool depending on the subject. We can make very big movies with small cameras or vice versa, simply, do not miss a step.
Anger class=”autobr” I always. The other day I made a editing by choosing photos related to the word protest. I rediscovered full. In different jobs. I remember a beautiful title, the cover of Time Magazine : “The face of protest” (note: published in October 2014 ). I thought I also have lots of faces that express it. In 1968, for example, in Mexico, people raised their fists. Protest is a keyword. As I have quite a few years behind me, I try to find keywords to collect my pictures

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Raymond Depardon at the meeting in Paris in April 2016.
class=”autobr” Photo: Benjamin Favier

 - How to stay neutral behind a camera or a device?

It is difficult to remain neutral as a photographer. There are times when you come across extraordinary things. I remember in 2000, I went to Chad illegally through Libya and I fell on the migrants who were on foot. I could see the silhouettes in the distance, I wondered if it was highway robbery. It was an impressive sight. I had never seen that. They seemed wise enough air. I gave them all my mineral water. They came from the Gulf of Guinea, had crossed the Sahara to rally the Libyan coast and cross the Mediterranean. It is not unscathed from a situation like that.

- you often return to places where you worked, years later, why this need

I really like it, return to the scene of the “crime.” I also want to discover new countries too, as this will generate even more feedback. I remember a Paris-Dakar; I sat on top of a dune, and I said, “You even did when Captive desert (note: feature film released in 1990 with Sandrine Bonnaire ) Raymond, it gets better. “There are big themes I advanced without necessarily turn the page. Rurality, we talked about the fact that my parents are not there, the farm is gone, I’m gone to fetch this world of my childhood still exists nevertheless, a little bit. I found this wisdom, this power, values ​​of living together, Heritage. If I had to do something with what tool? Maybe we need to find a new tool. This constraint will force me to leave on a topic that is dear to me: desert, farmer, city, Patagonia, Berlin, whatever. Never stop.

 - Left to expose himself to nostalgia, remorse, as in the hill of angels (Seuil)

This is a period that was important to me. I reached the end of something. I think the trip is always an important confrontation for the photographer. For the filmmaker, too, but this is more difficult with the road movie. There are “cream pies” that must be mastered, but are still a challenge. Go see a little misery, and pain of others. Is relativized much. I think I’m a little less stupid because I saw it, I stopped less on preconceived ideas that could save me. So, I took pictures and gathered men from my eyes.

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Raymond Depardon at the ‘meeting in Paris in April 2016.
class=”autobr” Photo: Benjamin Favier

 - you have praised” the happy loneliness of the traveler, “but you traveling increasingly in tandem …

I prefer to travel alone. The trip saved my life. Basically, being sent in the first part of my life at the end of the world without speaking a foreign language, it forced me to manage. I even surprised sometimes to say, “Where you slept when you did this photo? “.
class=”autobr” I see the need to continue these wanderings. We must continually confront his eyes to the world. And it can be done close to home. It’s hard to photograph, rephotographing places we like, discover others. Just place an order in the streets of Tokyo. This is the perfect, nobody tells you nothing, there is no easier. And both, as there Moriyama Daido and Araki, this is not simple, as Japanese photographers are strong and long. I feel very close to them. Somehow, their goal is not so much to put their images on picture rails, but to publish books. I love traveling, it gamberge in my head, I have to.

 - Interview by Benjamin Favier

The film

 - Les Habitants
 - A film by Raymond Depardon
- Wild Bunch Distribution
- 84 min
- Released April 27, 2016

the book

- Les Habitants
 - By Raymond Depardon
 - Seuil
 - 15 x 22 cm
160 pages - > € 25


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