November 27, 2021

ABCD Honoré cycle at the Forum des images: fascinating discussion on filmmaking

Titled “Cristal Stendhal”, the screening cycle session conceived by Christophe Honoré which focused on the conception of a film and its processes turned out to be fascinating. For an hour and forty, a feature film that will perhaps never exist has been set in motion, magnificently. The ABCD Honoré cycle continues until December 5 at the Forum des images, in Paris.

Until December 5, the projection rooms of the Forum des images, in Paris, are inhabited by the artistic sensibility of the French director Christophe Honoré, who offers the public a program of extremely diverse films, with, as he explains in the presentation text written for the occasion, “four cardinal points, both guides and horizons: Love, Brittany, Criticism, Desire”. Hence the name of this cycle: ABCD Honoré. We can cross it as well Jean-Luc Godard, Eric Rohmer, Pedro Almodovar ou David Lynch that Tim Burton, Justin Kurzel, or the all too rare Danièle Dubroux or Hal Hartley. But also Pascale Breton or Sophie Letourneur, who knew how to evoke the Breton region in their films.

On the menu of special events, we can count the round table “Critics’ cinema”, devoted to an inventory of the art of writing about films, another round table titled “Très attaché.es”, centered on the job of press attaché (s), a fairly studied “course” with Chiara Mastroianni, or even debates with Jean-Marc Lalanne, Serge Toubiana, Thierry Jousse… Invited to speak at the end of the screenings of films that they criticized at the time of their release, in Cinema Notebooks principally.

The director has already shown himself masterful by hosting one of these special events, Saturday October 2: a session with the title “Cristal Stendhal”, in reference to the idea of ​​crystallization, of thought meditated and finding itself gradually sculpted, described by Stendhal, speaking there of the feeling of love. ” I came tonight with a little idea for a movie, and we’ll talk about it in front of you », Announced Christophe Honoré, before starting a exciting start-up of this project directly.

In front of the audience gathered that evening, he begins by calling his producer, Philippe Martin, who appears on the screen behind him. He explains his idea for a film, by summarizing the beginning in all its details: it would be the story, in the 60s, of an actress who is offered a role, and then crosses in a cafe a woman who strangely resembles the character that we have for her described, with which she sympathizes and whose life she discovers, not very obvious. She will eventually miss her casting, and then admit that she sent this “bar woman” in her place. The idea that this person may be imaginary will germinate, too. ” I think more of the Lynch of Mulholland Drive than to Jacques Rivette of Céline and Julie go by boat, ”adds Christophe Honoré.

« In terms of aesthetic ambition, it would be a tough film », He then explains to his producer. ” Do you want to film timeless places in Paris, or create imaginary places? »Asks Philippe Martin. ” I would like to give a large part to the imagination, to make the two protagonists come across a rather strange, a little modianesque fauna. ». « Would the same actress play the two women, in your idea? »Asks Philippe Martin next. ” Yes, that would be an important element ». He then admits that he thinks of Chiara Mastroianni, who enters the room after Philippe Martin has hung up. ” I love the idea! She says straight away.

Subsequently, she and Honoré will discuss the introductory scene, at length : « So you Chiara, what are the remarks, requests or attitudes of the directors on the first date that can irritate you? “Later, he will launch it on another track:” Have you ever said to yourself, “I have to find this character? »» By insisting on the verb «to find».

The chief operator Rémy Chevrin is then called. ” We can materialize this question of the double in a somewhat “Méliès”, artisanal way, or with larger means, but then we could lose in poetry. », he explains, at the request of Chiara Mastroianni. Will follow a ” alphabet », series of images brought by Christophe Honoré in order to give an overview of his ideas for the different aspects of the film: a process he always resorts to, he admits, at the start of his shootings. Seeing dark tones in a photo that the director presents as “colored”, Rémy Chevrin walks forward, laughing a little: ” Your photos are always very inspiring, but we need to make a glossary of vocabulary, you and me! ” He adds : ” I would like one day to take a photograph of a film “Douglas Sirk”, with a lot of colors. ».

Then, in front of another cliché, Christophe Honoré affirms: ” This is a photo of a country road, but it’s because I would like it to be a film that “comes out” of Paris, with scenes in parks, therefore. Scenes that we would probably shoot at night, I write a lot of night scenes in my scripts ». Then Rémy Chevrin will focus in more detail on the technique: “ Would you like the cameras to be very close to the actors, or for there to be space in the shots? ».

In the end, this meeting will have allowed the director to deliver working secrets, to tell his story, to show his relationship with some of those with whom he often designs his films, and to dream live about his art, without forgetting to ask the spectators for some advice at the end. A very complete success. We want the special events that will follow, within the cycle, to carry the same mixture of life expressed with intensity and not pretentious intelligence.

The ABCD Honoré cycle continues until December 5 in the projection rooms of the Forum des images, in Paris.


Visuel : © Geoffrey Nabavian