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Redoutable 2017

Le Redoutable | Godard Mon Amour


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Le Redoutable-Godard Mon Amour

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About the Redoutable 💬


''Politics is like shoes. There's a left and a right, but eventually, you will want to go barefoot.''

Jean-Luc Godard

  • Based on Anne Wiazemsky's account of her marriage to Jean-Luc Godard.

Academy Award-winning director Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist) returns with this wildly funny and deeply moving tribute to classic cinema.

Paris 1967.

Jean-Luc Godard (Louis Garrel), the most renowned filmmaker of his generation, is shooting La Chinoise with the woman he loves, Anne Wiazemsky (Stacy Martin), who is 20 years his junior.

Happy, in love, magnetic, they marry. But the film's reception unleashes a profound self-examination in Jean-Luc.

The events of May 1968 will amplify this process, and the crisis that shakes Jean-Luc will change him profoundly, from star director to Maoist artist outsider, as misunderstood as he is impossible to understand.

Also starring Bérénice Bejo, this is a smart, stylish drama and an ode to a defining cinematic partnership.

  • INTERVIEW WITH MICHEL HAZANAVICIUS

Q: Why this title, REDOUTABLE?

Michel Hazanavicius: I've never been very good at choosing titles... I'm a great admirer of Godard, whose choice of titles is always brilliant. I'd even go as far as to venture that he picks the title first, then the film to go with it. The titles of the films he made in the sixties are all the better since each one resembles a possible self-portrait of the man he might have been: Vivre sa vie, Contempt, Le Petit Soldat, Bande à part, Breathless...

The first title I had was The Great Man, but it had a caustic overtone that I didn't like. It could easily have been misinterpreted. On the other hand, I liked the ''Belmondoesque'' side of Redoubtable; it's also reminiscent of Marginal, Incorrigible, Magnifique (The Man from Acapulco)... I also like the fact that the word can have a negative or positive connotation: to say that someone is redoubtable can be a compliment just as much as a reproach. Finally, I like the idea of using the gimmick ''And so goes life inside the Redoubtable,'' even to end the film with it. It gives a little ironic touch that pleases me.

Q: How did you come across Un an après (One Year Later by Anne Wiazemsky)?

Michel Hazanavicius: Completely by chance. I had to take a train and had forgotten the book I was reading at the time. I looked for one at the station. I found Un an après and immediately saw a film.

Anne Wiazemsky wrote two books about her love story with Jean-Luc Godard. Une Année Studieuse talks about the beginning of their relationship, the way this charming yet awkward guy takes his first steps in a great Gaullist family - Anne being François Mauriac's granddaughter - until the reception of La Chinoise at the Avignon Festival in 1967. Un an après talks about May 1968, the crisis Godard went through, his radicalization, the disintegration of their marriage, up until their breakup. I was very touched by their story: I found it original, moving, sexy and simply beautiful.

REDOUTABLE has a few elements from Une Année Studieuse, but comes in the main from Un an après. When I contacted her by phone, Anne Wiazemsky had already turned down several offers. She had no desire for her book to become a film. I remember that just before we hung up, I told her it was a real shame and all the more so as I'd found the book so funny. She reacted immediately and said she too thought it was funny but no one had ever said so. And that's how it all started.

Q: At first sight, it's quite surprising to see you devote a film to Jean-Luc Godard.

Michel Hazanavicius: I can imagine, but I don't consider this film so unexpected or even atypical. Of course, Godard is a particularly complex subject. But one of the things that interested me, and helped me to believe that this film was possible, was that Godard, while being a great artist with a difficult reputation - I'm talking about his films, but also about him, as a character - can all the same easily be seen as a pop culture icon. He's one of the key figures of the sixties, as much as Andy Warhol, Muhammad Ali, Elvis or John Lennon. He belongs to the popular imagination; through him, we can approach subjects and themes common to us all. Love, creation, politics, pride, jealousy, etc... He has also never been bland, never tried to be ''nice''. This makes him a complex and human character, which allows a great narrative freedom. I'm not condemned to eulogize him, since this isn't the response he himself tries to elicit. But mostly, and we tend to forget this, his films - and also he himself - could be extremely funny at that time. He knew how to charm and was very witty.

Q: It's striking to see how certain remarks made to Godard after the release of La Chinoise - beginning with the wish expressed by many that he would return to ''funny films'' of the kind he made with Belmondo - could be applied to you, who are asked endlessly when you are going to make a third OSS 117. The critical and public failure of La Chinoise is not without its echo in the reaction to your previous film, The Search. I imagine this must have crossed your mind...

Michel Hazanavicius: Yes, it's true. As a rule, I always try to work on different levels in my films, allowing different levels of interpretation. On the surface, REDOUTABLE might resemble what I've done in the past, an upending of a filmography, not unlike The Artist or even OSS 117, but with a pop touch. I love working this way. And on a deeper level, I slipped in a few personal elements, because there was room.

Besides, and this is essential, it is their love story that attracted me first of all. It isn't only a story of sex or desire. The destruction of the Godard/Wiazemsky couple arises from a man's profoundly sincere quest - deeply rooted in its era - for political and artistic truth, combined with a sort of masochistic and self-destructive pathology. In his search for ideals and the love of revolution, this man will destroy everything around him: his idols, his background, his work, his friends, but also his relationship, even his name, and will end up destroying himself. And Anne will be the witness of his downward spiral, she will love him as much as she can but will not be able to follow and will be powerless against his self-destructive drive.

Deep down, one cannot blame him. Nor her. But they drift apart in spite of themselves, they can only break up. I found this very beautiful.

To that one can add an original representation of May '68. The events of May '68 hasn't been depicted often in French cinema. I wanted to give it a breath of fresh air, a shot of color, spirit, joy. It was important because for me these images show respect, in the first degree, for the spirit of May '68. If the film is at times irreverent, even if it mocks Godard a bit, I didn't want to treat May '68 badly. I could see a risk of accusations of anachronism, or a danger of misplaced irony towards a whole era. To respect that energy, directing the crowds, this youth, these faces, the slogans, seemed to me to be the biggest mark of respect I could show. It is also an opportunity to place a literal, fixed point around which the character of Godard can shift, leaving room for comedy.

Q: Except for the beginning and the end of the film, you don't show Godard working on set. Why?

Michel Hazanavicius: Firstly because it's not a film ''about Godard'', it's a love story. The point was not to make a thesis on Godard, or even a biopic. And there's something else. A director isn't a pole vaulter. There isn't a moment when everything suddenly crystalizes and culminates in some amazing feat. There is no performance. It's a long, hard slog... And if I'd filmed Godard at work, I would have had to surround him with actors with some resemblance with the originals: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Raoul Coutard, Jeanne Moreau, François Truffaut... I didn't want that.

The first scene, on the set of La Chinoise, allows me to make the audience accept that Louis Garrel is Godard. That's all. I don't ask for more. From this point of view, REDOUTABLE starts a bit like The Artist: I lay out the rules of the game. First, the image of Godard, with Wiazemsky's voiceover. Then the image of Anne, with Godard's voiceover. And it's only on the third go, at the restaurant, that they are both reunited, as their voices and bodies are reunited. The complete embodiment of Godard takes place after we have seen him, after Anne has spoken about him and after we have heard his voice. Then, after three or four minutes of film, the audience knows that it is a love story that is going to be told, with real characters, but that the form will be freer than in a classic film.

Q: What kind of relationship do you have with the cinema of Godard?

Michel Hazanavicius: When I was young, I loved Breathless, its incredible energy, its mythical slogans, Belmondo's brilliant presence... then, I loved the films of the Anna Karina period. Such charm! On the other hand, with Godard, it isn't such and such film that matters. None are perfect, contrary to what you can say about Billy Wilder, Ernst Lubitsch or Stanley Kubrick. Rather it's his trajectory one should follow. And this trajectory is unique, constantly evolving, constantly being redefined.

Godard had a charmed first decade: the sixties. Of course, I watched or re-watched all his films of that period. They breathe freedom, and remain absolutely and delightfully audacious and modern. I was struck by one thing as I watched them again: while he refuses the realism one finds in Truffaut, Chabrol or the others, his films leave today an impression of unsurpassable reality. As for the films of the seventies, while I understand the intellectual approach, I have to admit I find them difficult to watch. I see them more as pebbles placed along a road, successive stages along a long reflection that endures to this day.

One could say that Godard at that time turned his back on a certain type of cinema. As a spectator, this is a problem for me, but as a director, I can feel only respect for his choice and for his integrity. You also have to remember that France at the time was so fossilized that any revolt, even the strangest, was understandable.

In my view, there is a realm where Godard is still relevant today, and it is the image. When he veers away from it, I find him less good. I don't consider him, for example, a great political thinker.

Q: There is a filmmaker, and there is the man. Both are so intertwined that Godard has often regretted that his media image and his name are more familiar to the public than his films.

Michel Hazanavicius: Yes, and this is something that interested me greatly. Godard isn't a ''nice'' man; he has never tried to be. How to direct a film about a destructive and paradoxical character? I could have smoothed out all the bumps and made an entirely positive figure out of him, erected a statue of him, but that would have felt like a betrayal. In his journey, notably during that era, Godard could be harsh, uncompromising, and this had to be shown. He was very violent; he behaved badly in public with numerous people... That said, I had no desire to criticize him or make an a posteriori judgment against him. Even his Maoism. That's why, early on, I remember making a mental note about giving him, quite literally, the last word. Which is what I did. But in truth, that was one of the challenges of the film, finding the right balance... between the destructive aspect of the character and the empathy I wanted us to have for him. And also between the love story and the comedy; between the formal aspect, the upending of and respect for the characters, and finally between themes that might at first appear slightly elitist, and my desire to make a popular movie.

Q: When did these questions arise? Mainly during the shoot? Or during the writing?

Michel Hazanavicius: During the writing. After a time, I told myself I had to put the real Godard aside. I had to take some distance from Anne Wiazemsky's book, but also from biographies, documents, etc... I had to accept a reinvented Godard, admittedly inspired by the truth, but one who had to be my Godard, in any case the Godard of the film. A creation. And to have this creation serve a wider film. It is by the way not the Godard character but the love story that gives the film its dimension. It's what structures the film. And it's what allows us to feel empathy for Godard. Anne manifestly loves Jean-Luc, she looks at him with admiration and love. This is very important in a film, that a character who is not a priori lovable, should be loved by another character. It can really break down reservations.

In concrete terms, the film really started to take shape when I stopped thinking like Godard, when he became Jean-Luc for me. A character pretty much like any other. I know this will seem almost blasphemous to some, but it's what actually happened.

Q: The empathy you mention is of course linked to your choice of Louis Garrel to play Godard.

Michel Hazanavicius: Of course. First, because of his quality as an actor, Louis was able to bring a whole range of nuances to make the character human. But on a deeper level, he carries something in him that makes him credible in this kind of world, with its particular issues, its language. Beyond Godard, it's clear to see that he understands what he is saying. He has both an elite aspect, very sharp, and a huge comic potential that perfectly suits the kind of popular cinema I like to make. He's an extremely talented and hardworking actor, and I would say he is someone you love to love. He's also handsome, which is an asset when playing someone who is supposed to have a real charisma, which is the case with Godard.

Q: You and Louis Garrel don't see Godard in the same way. Where does the film place itself, in conjunction with your two different points of view?

Michel Hazanavicius: We split the work, in a certain way. Louis thought of seducing the spectators who love Godard, and I those who don't, or who - and there are a lot more of them - don't think anything in particular about him. Louis guaranteed a great respect for the real Jean-Luc Godard, where I tended to twist things a bit more to improve my fictional Jean-Luc Godard. To exaggerate, I'd say that he leaned towards reverence and I towards irreverence. But as much as I monopolized Godard, Louis did the same. And my Godard became his. The final result is a cross between the real Godard, Anne Wiazemsky's vision of him, Louis' incarnation and mine.

Before I cast Louis, I knew he was a good Godard impersonator, but that's not why I picked him. In fact, I told him that it wasn't at all what I was looking for. For his part, he was ready to drop the impersonation and attempt a Godard closer to himself. Without any particular intonation, or desire to physically resemble him. But the role was written with Godard's phrasing, and during our readings, as soon as Louis imitated him, it all became hilarious immediately. I was a fan. We resisted for a while, but quickly it became very obvious. Then, the idea was to keep it to a minimum, to allow the audience to believe in the character, but without trying to duplicate a perfect photo in each sequence. On the contrary, it was necessary to give the actor maximum freedom of interpretation in each situation, and to avoid locking him in. To allow him to go from the private to the public figure, from the comic to the tragic, from love to politics, etc... This is how we tried to let the human filter through the interpretation, to approach the much-vaunted Jean-Luc. To not be obsessed with Godard.

To get there took hours of discussion, and I mean hours and hours! I don't think I have ever talked with an actor as much as I did with Louis.

Q: You mentioned that Anne Wiazemsky's book made you laugh. How did you transform Jean-Luc Godard into a comic character?

Michel Hazanavicius: Godard has always been funny: he trips on the carpet, breaks his glasses, mumbles... He's a bit of a Buster Keaton. But beyond this, the more a man is respected, the easier it is to shift him off track and make him funny.

Q: The difficulty was also that REDOUTABLE is not only a comedy, but also a drama. This combination of two genres is new for you...

Michel Hazanavicius: When I gave the script to be read, the reactions were extremely: some thought the love story was magnificent, others were struck by the evocation of May '68, others thought the whole thing was very funny... The great challenge of the film was balance, in particular, tonal balance. I looked for it during the writing, I tried to keep it while shooting, then later in the editing room, but you don't know if you have succeeded or not until the very end, when you see the completed film, and then when you screen it.

If there is a reference here, it's less Godard than Italian comedy: Dino Risi, Ettore Scola and the rest. Italian comedy is without equal when it comes to the combination of genres. You just have to think of a film like We All Loved Each Other So Much, and in particular the last scene in the parking lot. These films combine empathy and detachment, which for me is a constant source of inspiration. Even if, in this case, I have proceeded a little differently: the detachment is very present at the beginning, then diminishes until it disappears in the hotel bedroom scene. At this stage, it is for me a matter of simply looking at the characters. Only the music introduces a little discrepancy, a little step back.

Q: Talking about comedy, the scene of the argument in the car, when they are returning from Cannes, is a real tour de force.

Michel Hazanavicius: I love this scene. Six characters crammed together for a sequence-shot that necessitated one and a half days of work. The most complicated thing was to calibrate the timing: the management of time and silence between each line. We had to leave the silences, and also leave time for the silences to respond to other silences. To let the tension settle, grow, explode, wind down, start again... All this has to be extremely precise and requires a lot of time, a lot of work, especially when you have to tune all the actors to the same movement. Of course, it would have been easier to cut, I could have reconstructed everything a posteriori. But I wanted the scene to be a sequence-shot. I worked on the editing live, with the actors. That's another great advantage of working with actors of this calibre. You can really go into detail, work on what lies behind the performance as well as the timing, it's a real pleasure. Louis, Stacy, Bérénice, Gregory Gaudebois, Micha Lescot, Marc Fraize, everyone stuck in this little cell, that's a lot of talent per square meter! What a joy!

Generally speaking, I had a lot of pleasure working with the actors. Perhaps because I wanted to do more sequence-shots in this film than in my previous ones, perhaps because I also wanted to do more close-ups, and perhaps also because of the genre, but I feel I have done something different on this film. As if I relied less on the editing, but demanded more on set. I really enjoyed it.

Bérénice for example, who plays Michèle Rosier, even though she only has a few scenes, brings to the film a modernity and an energy that gives it balance. She plays the woman Anne would like to be, and towards which she is leaning. She is self-sufficient, independent, beautiful, and not overawed by Godard. She stands up to him. I loved watching Bérénice play that, I love her energy in the film; to me, it's as if she was saving humanity. I have known for a long time that she is a fantastic actress, but I still love working with her and watching her do things I haven't seen before. It's a joy. The character of Banban, her husband, is more unassuming, their couple being a mirror of Anne and Jean-Luc. Micha Lescot brought his nonchalance, his elegant aloofness to the role and did it to perfection. Gadebois plays Michel Cournot. Very different from the real Michel Cournot, who was a charming and brilliant seducer; he portrays a guy betrayed by his friend whom he nonetheless still admires. I don't know how the real Cournot reacted when the Cannes Festival was canceled in '68, but I thought it was very funny to see it from the perspective of pride. Gadebois is such a magnificent actor, who gives depth to any line of dialogue, making it funny without ever any sniggering. He plays broad yet at the same time, it's highly nuanced. Truly impressive.

And there are some actors we haven't seen much yet. Felix Kysyl, who plays Gorin. He's very young but really good. He brings out Jean-Pierre Gorin's seriousness, his sometimes austere radical side, but in such a way that he is never 'above' the character, never judging him. And he also has an uneasy relationship to Godard. He is fascinated by him just as much as he fascinates him. Theirs is also a love story, even if more cerebral. Felix played that to perfection. Arthur Orcier, who plays Jean-Henri Roger, captures the hot-headedness of the youth of the time, he has a Parisian cockiness, a bit of a thug, not at all an intellectual. There's also Marc Fraize, a very funny actor, who plays Emile. He portrays someone completely outside the world of the other characters, and the simplicity and sincerity of his acting creates a spark that ignites a fire with the leads. He only has one scene in the film, but the precision of his acting brought so much. I could go on and on about the actors, I love them all.

Q: One of the film's principles is that it often - not always - operates as a pastiche. Many scenes revisit moments from Godard's cinema.

Michel Hazanavicius: Yes. More than pastiche or revisiting, I prefer to speak about variations or diversions. But it's not a board game or a test for film buffs. It's a way of talking about Godard by recapturing and diverting his motifs. This is where the film is a tribute, in its very material. In its playing with the language of the cinema of that era. But also, and this is at least as important, this constant detachment creates space for comedy, allowing me to lighten the storytelling, to relate painful moments in a comic fashion. The film goes back and forth all the time between the narrative of the story itself, respect for the characters, and detachment, be it visual and cinematographic, or straightforward comedy.

Q: What's new in this film in relation to your work?

Michel Hazanavicius: It's hard to say... I hope I've found a new balance between aesthetics and respect for characters. It seems to me that in The Artist, the form took over, and in The Search, it disappeared, at least in the sense that I imposed a head-on relationship with the story on the audience. Here I've tried to play with several genres, to be free, to blend pure comedy with more complex elements.

Q: Are you expecting some kind of reaction from Jean-Luc Godard?

Michel Hazanavicius: Before the shoot, I sent him a letter. No reply. Then he made it known that he wanted to read the screenplay. I sent it to him. No answer. I suggested he'd see the film. He had someone reply he didn't want to see it. That said, it's not impossible that at some point he will come out with one of the slogans at which he excels. Words that will cover me in shame, and that will make even my loved ones ashamed for me. We'll see. At the same time, I'm delighted about this film, and if I had to choose, I'd rather have a film by me about Godard then a film by Godard about me.

  • INTERVIEW WITH LOUIS GARREL

Q: Your admiration for Jean-Luc Godard's cinema is well known. Bearing that in mind, how did you welcome Michel Hazanavicius' proposition to play him on screen?

Louis Garrel: Taking this part was far from a foregone conclusion. For any actor, the role of Godard would be very intimidating. Godard has played and continues to play a central role in my work.

Think of a Christian, for whom the figure of Christ is a profound inspiration... How could he play Christ on screen without having the painful feeling he is descending into blasphemy? It's a little like that for me. My first reaction was: as his admirer, I can't play Godard.

Then Michel and I talked a lot while he was writing. He explained that this wasn't a film about Godard. He talked to me about Un an après, Anne Wiazemsky's book, whose point of view is the central theme. REDOUTABLE is less a biopic than the story of a filmmaker caught at a specific turning point of his life that converges with a historical turning point. The period in question is short but dense. It begins with the filming of La Chinoise and goes up until the beginnings of the Dziga Vertov Group. And for all the rest, it's before and after May '68.

It is also a love story. So I started to see it more clearly. Later when I read the script, I was captivated from the first page. It was like a sophisticated collage. And I was attracted by the subject, it was enthralling. I learned many things about the Dziga Vertov Group and the complicity between Godard and Jean-Pierre Gorin... But what surprised me most was the way it was presented. Godard moves away from the film, cuts himself from his network of contacts, throws himself into activism... And at the same time he's racing in that direction, his relationship with Anne goes to pieces. All this is in the book, but Michel's screenplay reminded me of an Ettore Scola comedy! Even though the narrative content is dramatic, the situations are all shown in an amazing comic light. Politics in particular never ceases to produce burlesque comedy.

Q: Did you find this the right approach?

Louis Garrel: Yes. Less in keeping with what 1968 could have been than with what you hear from those who were there... Even if these experiences are composed of a combination of joy and drama, even tragedy, it's often the absurd, even the comical, that is also highlighted in the story. A result of hindsight, I'd say... While he didn't live the events of 1968, Michel talks about them in the same way as those who knew the barricades, meaning that he emphasizes the joyous and vital side of the revolution.

This is the third time I've acted in a film about May '68. Bernardo Bertolucci's approach in The Dreamers (2003) is phantasmagorical. My father's Regular Lovers (2005) is poetic. I didn't want to repeat myself. But Michel's point of view is different again: he uses the codes of dramatic farce or Italian-style comedy; his point of view is both critical and tender... After all, Godard himself, in reply to a question about May '68 and cinema, said it was a subject for Jerry Lewis.

Q: Aren't comedy and politics contradictory?

Louis Garrel: Probably. But you can't separate Godard from his taste for paradox and provocation, for deconstruction and yes, for the comic. Provocation is an integral part of his way of being and working. Godard is incapable of getting involved with anything - a television set, at an assembly, even a novel - without deconstructing and reconstructing. I heard Gorin say that he has only ever made first films. Dissatisfaction and perpetual motion have made him the inventor of modernity, the Picasso of cinema.

Q: What do you think of this movement that in 1968 made Godard leave the bright lights of cinema for the shadows of activism?

Louis Garrel: In 1968 Godard decides to leave the place where he is an absolute master to go into politics. I feel that for Michel, this shift is dangerous: he doesn't believe that artistic practice can coexist with such militant activism. I agree in part: this shift perhaps appeared to lead him to a dead end. But with hindsight, one can also say that it's from that place that Godard reinvented himself. And I can only admire his journey. I think it's very powerful... All the more so in Godard's case because it leads him to explore the limits of cinema. It is characteristic of his approach since the beginning: to redefine cinema through its limits, without respite. He continues today with films like Goodbye to Language (2014).

Q: Did you look at documents to prepare for the part? Films? TV interviews with Godard?

Louis Garrel: All the time; I always have, even when I'm not playing him. In interviews, he can be inhibiting. The way he appreciates films at unexpected moments. I think his apparent severity is a sign of a deep and constant need for the other. He needs to break up. But not rupture. He needs to determine himself in relation to the other: to deconstruct, cut and edit all relationships... he tells us that when he was a boy scout his nickname was bickering sparrow! He is someone who needs arguments, discussions, confrontation... the presence of the other, but a true other, meaning someone who resists him. I believe all these aspects are in the film.

Q: You've always had a reputation as one of his finest impersonators - and there are many. Was this your starting point for portraying him?

Louis Garrel: Yes and no. Michel and I wondered which Godard we wanted to show. Because there are many. We mostly know his media image. The risk was to reproduce this image during intimate moments, which would be misplaced. We also know Godard the actor, in his own films: I'm thinking of First Name: Carmen (1983) where he plays himself as a madman of sorts, or Keep Your Right Up (1987) in which he's very funny. These elements had to be there. But they weren't the only ones.

Q: The film could give the impression that it was partly improvised...

Louis Garrel: That's the effect we wanted to achieve. But we managed it by doing the reverse. The car scene illustrates this perfectly. They are coming back from Cannes. There are six of them crammed in the car going back to Paris. That's already quite funny in itself. It becomes hilarious when you know the context. Godard had driven south to block the festival. Although a supporter of the struggle, his friend Michel Cournot would have still liked his film Les Gauloises bleues to be screened. From this, a terrible argument explodes. Michel filmed it as sequence-shot, in a way that we were all in the frame constantly. And we are even more crammed especially as everyone is involved: Renoir, Hawks, the whole story of Cinema that Godard says he is done with... The scene seems improvised while in fact it was planned down to the last millimeter. It took us two days to be able to give Michel what he wanted. A large part of the material was unusable because of our hysterical laughter. There were long silences during which it was really difficult to refrain from laughing, it was so funny. There are directors who are really inside the action and who love the work of the actors. Michel is one of them.

Q: What is the vision of Godard that finally emerges from the film?

Louis Garrel: The image of a man who wanted, at a decisive political moment, to turn cinema into an art that makes you think, at the risk of getting on the wrong side of people who loved him for other reasons. Michel's view of the era isn't nostalgic, nor is he crushed by the figure of Godard. It is a curious and tender look. And that's how I'd like the audience to see the film.

  • INTERVIEW WITH STACY MARTIN

Q: What did you know about Anne Wiazemsky?

Stacy Martin: I knew Anne through her films. Several years ago, I saw Au Hasard Balthazar at an independent cinema in London, and it moved me deeply. The story is both simple and profound. Anne is extremely beautiful in it: pure and sensual at the same time. It left its mark on me.

Q: And Godard?

Stacy Martin: I'd seen his films, at least two from that period. I watched Une femme mariée again and was completely captivated, I really think it's one of his best. I re-watched others again and a lot of Truffaut films too.

Q: Really? Why Truffaut?

Stacy Martin: For the era, the way people talk, the way they move, the way they behave. To help me find a texture, a tone. Godard's films are completely re-written in the editing, which makes it difficult to get direct inspiration without falling into caricature. I needed something more natural, more every day and Truffaut's films were very useful for this.

Q: How would you define Michel Hazanavicius as a director?

Stacy Martin: Michel has the same kind of freedom children have when they draw before... before they're told how to do it! They have beautiful creative freedom. They have such fun discovering things; they're always searching. Michel's a bit like that, very free, almost childlike, yet extremely precise when it comes to framing, to the image, the colors, and the performances. It was the first time I worked like this, where each texture, each composition mattered, like in the painting. I remember one very long and difficult scene where we were really struggling, nothing was working. Suddenly, in the middle of the scene, Michel cuts, says nothing, walks past us, adjusts the curtain behind us: the frame wasn't straight and was destabilizing the whole image! Just like that he managed to relieve the pressure, he reminded us that we were in a film, we were also elements of that image, and we felt freer as a result... Working with him has certainly given me a new kind of liberty.

Q: Did he talk much about the character or the era, while shooting?

Stacy Martin: We had many discussions beforehand, did quite a lot of reading, we met many times, we discussed cinema, we did tests and a lot of costume research. So much so that once we started shooting everything quickly fell into place and we didn't need to talk about the characters much...

Q: Off the top of your head, any favorite scenes?

Stacy Martin: All the restaurant scenes. They have beautiful energy, which wasn't particularly obvious. Each character has a different dynamic, and I find that they truly represent what we shot, even though they weren't the easiest to act. The scene where they are naked while discussing the problem of nudity in films also makes me laugh a lot!

Q: If you could keep only one image, one moment from this adventure, what would it be?

Stacy Martin: I think the scene in the car, when they're coming back from Cannes.

Q: Why?

Stacy Martin: Because it was hard to shoot. It was a one shot scene... and it was very hard not to laugh! I didn't really have much dialogue, I was a bit of an observer, and it was incredible to watch such a furious debate take place in such a tiny car. It was also very hot and we were all crammed together. We had to do at least thirty takes. It was during the very early days of the shoot; instead of giving us a big talk beforehand, Michel played us part of the score from The Magnificent Seven on set! Right away, a team spirit emerged. We all immediately felt that we were part of - not a family, since there isn't such a creative spirit in a family! - but a troupe. It was warm and creatively very stimulating.


  • GODARD'S CIRCLE


BÉRÉNICE BEJO - Michèle Rosier (1930 - 2017)

The daughter of Hélène Lazareff, journalist, stylist and filmmaker Michèle Rosier was one of the inventors of modern prêt-à-porter. She directed some half dozen feature films, including George Who? (1973) and Malraux, tu m'étonnes (2001). In 2016, she was the subject of a French Cinémathèque retrospective.

MICHA LESCOT - Jean-Pierre Bamberger (? - 2014)

Nicknamed ''Bambam'', he was the best friend of philosopher Gilles Deleuze, and the partner of Michèle Rosier. A former Resistance fighter, he pursued multiple activities without limiting himself to anyone in particular: a co-founder of the newspaper Libération, he worked with Agnès B., as well as producing and acting in a number of films...

GRÉGORY GADEBOIS - Michel Cournot (1922 - 2007)

Book and cinema critic for Le Nouvel Observateur, later theatre critic for Le Monde, his reviews were as eagerly awaited as they were feared. He wrote and directed Les Gauloises bleues (1968), and was the author of several books, including Au cinéma (Leo Scheer, 2003).

FÉLIX KYSYL - Jean-Pierre Gorin (1943)

A founder member of Le Monde des Livres, before forming the Dziga Vertov Group with Jean-Luc Godard, since 1975 Jean-Pierre Gorin has lived in the US, where he pursues his career as an important if far from prolific director (Poto & Cabengo in 1978, Routine Pleasures in 1986...) A close friend of critic and painter Manny Farber, he taught film at San Diego University.

ARTHUR ORCIER - Jean-Henri Roger (1949 - 2012)

One of the ''spiritual advisors'' of French cinema, Jean-Henri Roger was a founding member of the Dziga Vertov Group, before joining the collective Cinélutte. He taught film at the University of Vincennes (Paris VIII), and co-directed two films with Juliet Berto (Neige in 1981 and Cap Canaille in 1983). The films Lulu (2001) and Code 68 (2005) followed. He appeared as an actor in Godard's In Praise of Love (2001).

Redoutable Movie Details 🎥


Directed by

Michel Hazanavicius

Writing Credits

Michel Hazanavicius (Screenplay)

Anne Wiazemsky (Adapted from the novel ''One Year Later / Un an après'' by)

Starring

Louis Garrel

Stacy Martin

Bérénice Bejo

Micha Lescot

Grégory Gadebois

Félix Kysyl

Arthur Orcier

Marc Fraize

Guido Caprino

Philippe Girard

Quentin Dolmaire

Emmanuele Aita

Matteo Martari

Cinematography by

Guillaume Schiffman

Genres: Biography, Comedy, Drama, Romance

Countries: France, Myanmar

Redoutable Official Trailer



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