Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Toni Erdmann: it all started with dentures – L’Express

One day, the director Maren Ade offered a false denture his father. Like that, for fun. That was twenty years ago. The object had been graciously offered to premiere Austin Powers in a Munich cinema, and the girl, who was not a director, has said his logically paternal would make good use.

“He is a man of prankster genre. The denture has since served as much,” explains Maren Ade, well aware of the strangeness of that denomination. But she continues: “Even today, he is able to leave the restaurant to complain about the length of service!”

Here’s how the characters are born. They are there, nearby. Remains only to dress up a story and to sublimate their actions. At the last Cannes Film Festival, Maren Ade was in competition his third feature, the hilarious Toni Erdmann, a 2:40 comedy about a retired man “kind of joker”, which attempts to recreate the emotional bond with his daughter, a working girl crippling coldness.

Toni is the name of the father in question is bewigged like a Bee Gee on the back, and disfigured by a prominent jaw. Needless to Bucharest, where plies his offspring to annoy her career plans and extirpate a bleak and lonely life. Man made and broke into his daily scuttled his professional appointments, makes a fool in public. Within the range, the false denture Toni wonders.

Mad Max does not like dentures

At the first press screening on the Croisette, the atmosphere in the room is electric. Spectators usually draped in their about-to-self, let go, laugh out loud in front of the pathetic antics of the father, even applaud certain sequences. In his hotel room, Maren Ade, who knows nothing of what is happening a few meters from her, waiting anxiously the sentence of that first showing, that which can seal the fate of a movie forever .

“I knew to the minute when the public was. Well, this is the time when Ines [name of the heroine] sings Whitney Houston. There, she expects her guests naked behind door … I watched texting my friends journalists on how the press reacted. ”

2:40 later, his phone only vibrates good vibes “insane”, “crazy”, “a total success” … On social networks, festival ignite. Cannes 2016 Palme already has his. Until the last hours of the verdict, the rumor is not less swollen. In the end, Toni Erdmann conspicuous by its absence in the record. “Mad Max Miller,” the jury foreman, obviously do not like dentures.

Force Report

Whatever, foreign vendors have almost all bought the film a few days earlier. “That was the main thing. Even if a price is good for the karma!” Said with a smile, the German filmmaker of 39 years. Maren Ade was spotted there eight years with his previous feature film, Everyone Else, relentless drama and ivy around the dislocation of a couple in sunny Sardinia.

Eight years is a bit long, right? “The success of ‘Everyone Else in Germany enabled me to find funding quickly enough. But I took my time. I’m lucky to be my own producer, I can decide let rest my script if I feel like a dead end. the writing of Toni Erdmann has therefore lasted almost six years. the installation, it lasted almost a year. That’s a lot. as a result, two days before presenting it to the Cannes selection committee, I was still mixing ”

During the official screening in the Grand Théâtre Lumière, Maren Ade, hand book, scrupulously notes the little things to improve. Some would see at work every Teutonic rigor, in the image of its heroine, stiffness monster, able to cool the ice. The director has necessarily put herself in this character, since the father capable of carrying around with a fake dentures in the mouth, it’s a bit hers.

Sandra Hüller and  Peter Simonischek in & quot; Toni Erdmann & quot;  directed by Maren Ade

Sandra Hüller and Peter Simonischek in” Toni Erdmann “directed by Maren Ade.

Prod DB-Komplizen Film

“No doubt, but not that much,” confesses Maren Ade timidly lowering look. This story, she built starting from the father. The title of the film does not say anything. “I wanted to explore the father-daughter relationships, which are often complicated. I was interested to see a man play comedy for her child. I had to install a power relationship to the narrative works. Simonischek Peter, who plays Toni, being rather massive, I was inspired by the comedian Andy Kaufman and paunchy character he created in the seventies: Tony Clifton Facing him, Sandra Oil (Ines) appears small It’s Laurel and Hardy’s..! traits are intentionally rude. ”

The film – this is one of its many strengths – works to blur. It inevitably comes a time when the mask no longer fools anyone.

Freedom of action

Most of the plot is thus located in Romania, where, taking advantage of the economic wilderness, many large German companies settled after the fall of the communist dictatorship in the late 80. If for Ines, Bucharest is a hunting ground where it can impose ultraliberal methods of his employers, Maren Ade, she admits having tasted a freedom of action.

“On a film, the German engineers want to know where their cars will be parked and scrupulously respect the schedules. Romanians are more spontaneous. So I could upset my plans at the last minute. When I came back in Germany, the cultural shock with the teams was tough. ”

And, in fact, in Cannes, Toni Erdmann, with its imposing length, had more the appearance of a Romanian mural that German tragicomedy. “Initially, I did not know that the film would be so long. But for some sequences work, you had to play with rhythm variations. The scene where Ines began painting eggs in the small apartment which takes its father may seem endless, but when she finally starts singing, it’s a release voltage goes down, the viewer is in the best condition to listen. “.

The interview over, Maren Ade gets up, shakes hands with his interlocutor and rummages in her handbag. From there to think that it could get out a false denture …

Toni Erdmann , Maren Ade, Peter Simonischek Sandra Hüller … Released: August 17.


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