Guillaume Malandrin • Director
by Anne Feuillère
23/06/2005 - After studying at the INSAS in the Image section, Guillaume Malandrin makes Qui déménage? in 1992 then Bonjour in 1995. In 1999, Raconte, is selected in Berlin and in Sundance. He has just finished shooting his first feature film in DV and is actually preparing his second one. Encounter with one of the filmmakers-scriptwriters-producers of La Parti Production.
Cineuropa : Why did you want to self-produce ?
Guillaume Malandrin: It is possible to gain a certain autonomy of production very quickly. So, we made this choice so as to put the priorities where we wanted. We have our own network, we know some technicians, some know-how. And we also have common cinema tastes, references. It's all about people and energies. After Todo Films, with Vincent Tavier, we created La Parti Production with Philippe Kauffmann and Stéphane Vuillet, which enabled us to improve. Something quite schoolish and anarchist unite us but also a certain demand on cinema, freedom and simplicity...
Have you got your own filmmaking projects?
Last year, I finished a 68 minutes feature film shot in DV, Ca Ca m'est égal si demain n'arrive pas with Olga Grimberg and Jacky Lambert. It's the story of a man who comes out of prison and who sees again his 10 year old son who grew up in an adoptive family. His greatest dream is to go on holidays with this child he does not know. When they are about to leave, they happen to see the boy's mother who changed a lot. They then decide to leave all together. The film depicts a week in those people's life, who are as strangers in the same room.
You co-wrote the script with your brother [Stéphane Malandrin], didn't you?
Yes, and with Jacky Lambert as well. We started with a 30 pages dialogue script. The idea was to make a very simple film with a very simple story. The shooting lasted two weeks. It was a very light shooting, we were eight including the actors. I handled the production, the management and the organisation.
Are you planning to release it ?
I sent it to Locarno. I am waiting for a reply. I want to show it so as to see the people's reactions. I hope the film will find its public. And I am currently preparing Où est la main de l'homme sans tête [trailer]'s shooting, which I co-wrote with my brother, Stéphane. I wanted to make a thriller and we started to have fun on this story.
Concerning a thriller, do you think that Où est la main... is a genre film?
It is a genre film in the sense that there are suspense and tension scenes that I will not distort by going against the very spirit of the scene. But this is not my aim. I have references but it does not interest me to use them and the genre cinema is always referenced to something. Raconte was a quite classic story, with a narrative structure quite complex. Où est la main... looks a bit like it with a story and characters more real, thicker. As a filmmaker, what interests me in cinema, is some kind of emotion.
This project was selected at Cinémart in Rotterdam this year. Did it help you to fund the film?
Yes, but it above all helped us to put things into effect. We already had many possibilities since we sent the script to many different production, distribution and international sales companies. We finalized the project in Rotterdam thanks to Wild Bunch's investment. Many German producers were interested in the project due to the presence of Ulrich Tukur. We saw them again in Berlin and if were to work with Germany, we would come back to Lichtblick Film and Joachim Ortmanns. But we are waiting for Luxemburg's replies. And in the case we do not receive any positive answers, we will certainly have to go to Germany.
How Cécile de France and Ulrich Tukur came into the project?
It is three years and a half since Cécile de France is present. I met her when she had just finished Cédric Klapish's film, The Spanish Inn. Since then, her career took off but she always stood by the project which she liked a lot. The film depicts a father and daughter relationship, that of Eva, (that she plays), a high dive champion and her father, who also is her coach, Ulrich Tukur. We saw him in Amen and in Le Couperet [trailer]. At the beginning, I wanted an Anglo-Saxon, I liked the idea of some kind of emigrant in Belgium, who does not have any family, who is a bit isolated. She became integrated but he is still a foreigner. This is the family archetype which succeeded and that social success is the only thing that cemented them.
What presided over the desire of making this film?
We wanted to make several things and in particular to work with Jacky Lambert. And I also like family stories when relationships should be simple and they are not, when the familiar is a bit deconstructed and has to prove its existence. If love exists and that the family is very close, there is a kind of natural absolute confidence on which one can rest, can build himself. When this relationship is eroded, it becomes a nightmare. This is the film's story. At a certain point, this girl, for a personal reason does not trust her father anymore. She believes he wants to hurt her. The film depicts that terrible thing: to fear that your father will kill you, it builds itself on that death fantasy to culminate in something positive.