[interview] Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache (the Intouchables)

The facilitators of the programme devoted to the cinema ” Judaïclap “, broadcast on radio Judaica Strasbourg, had the chance to meet the filmmakers Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache on the occasion of the release of their new film ” the Untouchables “.

Transcript written of this passage radio !

This is a topic that is not obvious to deal with, yet you’ve never fallen in pathos or in humour, or in the heaviness. What are your methods of work ?

Eric Toledano :
It is the blow of lightning, it is a story that we really felt that the both of you. We had a very great desire to work with Omar, because we had the feeling that he had not been exploited to the maximum of its possibilities. It is a great actor, very human, very general, intelligent and instinctive. We said that it was necessary that one finds a topic at the height of the guy. It is him that we motivated at the outset. He was shown a document on these 2 people, we saw his head and realized that it was perfect for this role.

And then we had a moral responsibility vis-à-vis Philippe Pozzo di Borgo, to tell his story. It’s a strong story and that has a dimension that is very positive. He kept a hope, a good mood and concerns of the other, and a spirit of fun. This story we touched so we tried to tell with these formidable actors.

In ” the Untouchables “, you do oppose, in order to better meet, two worlds, the suburbs (Omar Sy) and the aristocracy, the bourgeoisie, wealthy parisian (François Cluzet). By this film, did you want to raise awareness of the fact that we can do a meet and live together people from different backgrounds ?

Is there a desire to release the film in the suburbs, with thematic teaching ?

Eric Toledano :
We screened the film at the end of August in prison. We heard a phrase that I think we made our evening and our week. A prisoner told us ” you have me discharged for 2 hours “.

Olivier Nakache : It has no will of his message, it tells above all a story. The film has a scope, everyone sees what he wants. It is said that what hit us in the early going to touch people, make them laugh. We don’t want to tell people that all the rich must make a turn in the suburbs. It is a statement of fact, why it took a paragliding accident that Philippe (played by F. Cluzet) falls on Driss (Omar Sy) and that makes it a rivalry between these two characters. Each was open to the other and it worked.

Eric Toledano : there are several dimensions in the film. There is one on the meeting, but there is one also on the disability that we find interesting. Why they are heard? Because that one had no compassion for the other, even if sometimes it is found that the compassion and mercy feelings are noble. We met, for this film, a lot of people who were ” physically underdeveloped “. The main thing they have said is that there is nothing more pleasant than to be looked at without this compassion, without this mercy.

I also think that this subject has a singularity because it is treated in a manner subversive. It has exploded in the codes. Omar can say anything, it passes and it explodes the codes on the side of the politically correct. Its past the suburbs allows him to do everything. Francis, his next aristo allows him to do anything with the money, he can take a jet and go to the other end of France if they want to. There are several sizes, several litters. There is no message, it tells a story and each person takes what he wants. We can find that history has a meaning, therefore it motivates us.

Olivier Nakache : This is a true story, we took it full force and it was what we wanted to say as the 4th film.

Do you want to continue in this way, discussing topics that affect you like this one or do you want to go back to comedies ?

Eric Toledano :
We just make a turn. We always put a personal dimension in our films, even in ” Our Happy Days “. We recollected our memories, it is not a summer movie.

There is always a personal dimension in ” Our Happy Days “, ” So Close “…

Eric Toledano :
It was not the experience interesting enough to always tell our story. To become a director, at the end of a 4th film, it is trying to grow in this profession, it is also begin to take ownership of other people’s films and know the tell. It is a path, it depends on the success of ” the Untouchables “. If it works, it will give us the desire to continue.

What are your next projects ?

Eric Toledano :
The movie will come out in the United States, we are going to try to follow it.

You can find the full interview in the video on the website of Radio Judaica Strasbourg or the show as a podcast, always on the same site.

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