Lindon to star as Doctor Charcot in Winocour’s Augustine
by Fabien Lemercier
22/09/2011 - Shooting will start on November 21 in Ile-de-France on Alice Winocour’s debut feature, Augustine, a project previously selected at the Cinéfondation Workshop at Cannes 2011 and Emergence. Selected in competition at Cannes in 2005 with her short film Kitchen and co-screenwriter on Vladimir Perisic’s Ordinary People, Winocour also won the Sopadin Junior Trophy for Best Screenplay for Augustine.
The film will explore the mutual fascination that develops at the end of the 19th century between Doctor Charcot, who studies hysteria, and one of his patients. The cast stars Vincent Lindon (pictured – nominated for the Best Actor César 2010 for Welcome [trailer, film focus], recently acclaimed at Cannes in Alain Cavalier’s Pater [trailer, film focus] and in Venice Days in Philippe Lioret’s All Our Desires [trailer]) and Soko (nominated for the Best Female Newcomer César 2010 for In the Beginning [trailer]).
Scripted by the director, Augustine is set in the Pitié Salpêtrière hospital in Paris, in 1885. There, Professor Charcot is trying to understand a still unknown disease: hysteria. Augustine, a young housemaid who has barely shed her puppy fat and is showing all the symptoms of the disease, soon attracts his attention.
She quickly goes from being an object of study to an object of desire, the sole subject of Charcot’s research and his obsession. To please him, Augustine puts her whole body into the experiments. Over the course of the tests, an intimacy starts to develop between them. But the closer Charcot gets to Augustine, the more he desires her. And the more he looks at her, the more ill he makes her.
Augustine is produced by Isabelle Madelaine and Emilie Tisné for Dharamsala for around €4.7m. The budget includes co-production support from France 3 Cinéma and ARP Sélection, an advance on receipts from the National Film and Moving Image Centre (CNC), €410,000 in backing from the Ile-de-France region (where the nine-week shoot will take place), support from the Gan Foundation, and pre-acquisitions from Canal + and Ciné+. ARP, which will release the film in French theatres, will manage international sales with Kinology.
Dharamsala, which produced Winocour’s three short films, has feature film credits including Gérald Hustache-Mathieu’s April in Love [trailer] and Nobody Else But You [trailer], and Lyes Salem’s Masquerades [trailer]. The company also co-produced Illegal [trailer, film focus] by Belgium’s Olivier Masset-Depasse.
(Translated from French)