[INTERVIEW] Aurélien Milhaud to THE TRUE PLACE

Aurélien Milhaud and Fabien Dovetto have realized THE TRUE PLACE, a fairy tale, utopian on two outcasts of society seeking a form of redemption in a knightly quest. THE TRUE PLACE will be available on OKAST on VOD as of November 30. Meeting with Aurélien Milhaud, the co-director and co-author of the film.

Where does the utopia of the “true place” ?

On the way out, with Fabien Dovetto, the screening of our latest short film, The angel and the death, we continued with a night where met aspiring filmmakers, technicians and actors. We left quite depressed this evening, because of the pessimism ambient professionals present. On the way back, we found walking over a railway line, warehouses, disused, brownfield land, etc, Without speaking, we had each of the frames of a movie in the making. Well after we talk about it and the film was written around the quest impossible to two friends, in search of a mystery : “the real place“. The beginning of the film has been shot at the location where the idea germinated.

THE TRUE PLACE was born out of a desire for a certain type of cinematic images. Even the name “the real place” comes on to him by the poet Yves Bonnefoy, who describes it as an imaginary place, attached to the children, a utopia of nostalgia. We can say that the film is the encounter of a wanted image, reading this and a visceral need to make a first feature film. The script was written very soon after this initial idea, followed by a shooting almost in the stride, because we wanted to find our film on the road. Continue with the same utopian quest our characters. We could not wait to find the funding, a grant, or even the impact of a crowdfunding campaign. We went in with a camera, a recorder sound and our three actors. We made this film to five individuals, alternating between technical positions. THE TRUE LOCATION is not registered in any region. Rather, they are ” landscapes of the soul “. They are de-identified : it is “a” town (not Paris), or ” a ” field, and not necessarily such a Romantic image of the South. Even turning in the neighborhood of the Defence, it blurs the markers. We what interested us it was the buildings of glass, in order to find an atmosphere that Playtime de Jacques Tati. It gives a lot of importance throughout the film, the notion of archetype. Our characters, our locations, our history, are combinations of archetypes in order to find some universal aspects of the tale.

How did you decide the division between a mentor and a disciple, more “naive” ?

The writing of the characters has been enriched with references such as Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, or even the duo formed by Jean-Louis Trintignant and Mathieu Kassovitz in at the men falling from Jacques Audiard. Very early in the writing, the duo of the characters appeared as is, in the overprinting of the landscape ” interiors “. A kind of guru and his disciple, a little naive, like a child virgin to prioris or defects. This character would serve to reenchant a world that is quite disgusting.

Seeing the film it is said that there is an affinity between these two marginal who seek this place, utopian, and on the other hand the artists in real life, animated by an ideal high achiever… with dramatic consequences !

We have written the beginning to the end ! This is what we had clear in mind during the process of writing and then filming. We knew that it was going to end up like that and that was our common thread. We assume fully the scope of the message, since this film is the transposition of what we feel as writers-directors. It feels marginal in this world. So far, the end is pretty open, it can be seen as dramatic or as a liberation. It is up to everyone to draw his own interpretation. The commitment requires the search of the “real place” – or any artistic, intellectual or scientific, is such, that we can’t settle for half-measures. This requires a total commitment. There are no other issues. Even in the face of a wall, we can’t go back. It is necessary to make the gift of self in an absolute way.

What has been your model for you to launch ?

I would find it difficult to speak of “model” in the configuration of independent cinema in France. A lot of things are, but not necessarily in a manner pre-established. There is something going on in our country on this point, it is safe, but it is difficult to understand. Many young directors take charge of their cinema, because the traditional financing is complicated. Rather than wait for long years to have permission to make their film, they prefer to realize their vision by their own means. Of the distribution networks and suitable to be put in place, including via VOD (Video On Demand). It is without doubt the declination of cyclical movements : there was the Nouvelle Vague in France, the New Hollywood and now can be live the same thing today. Even if the independent film is for the moment put aside by the professionals of conventional supply chains. As if they did not take seriously enough what is going on. It is a pity…

“The film, like the search for the” true place “, demand a total commitment.”

There have been films such Dealer or Donoma , who proposed an original look, followed by a lot of people. Something develops, takes shape, and this would be a real shame if it remained at the margin. For the moment, when we produced and directed a film independent… it remains confined to a distribution of the independent circuit, and therefore to the margin. We get to imagine our own delivery models. A few institutions such as the ACID (Association of Independent Cinema for its Distribution) or the GREEK (Group of Research and Trial-and Film is no longer enough. One has the impression that the policy decision is to give us three-ball to that we have fun with.

Not to speak of genre cinema, the great forgotten in France…

Naively we say that the festivals are just there to encourage this kind of cinema, no ?

Of course. But it is complicated because the festivals are all want that their event attracts the media attention. This often means invite personalities are already known. Or so some movies are too “non-standard” to fit the rest of the program. It tastes quite codified, which leads to select works formatted, even if they are otherwise. At the base was done the movie had the urge visceral, even if today we say that it does not fit into any ” box ” preset ! It does not find a receptive audience via VOD.

interview by Thomas Coispel

THE REAL take on VOD as of November 30, on OKAST : https://levrailieu.okast.tv/#/

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