We start on the beach of the Majestic during the 62nd Cannes film Festival, at the meeting of Farid DMS Debah , who speaks to us of the preparation of the movie Car 7.
First 45 rpm recorded at the age of 14 years, the first it company at age 16 and first movie ( Deadly Venom with Elodie Navarre ) made in 20 years, what is due this success ?
Oh it’s not a success, it may be a desire to do things, but early enough, yes it is true, but success, it comes only with perseverance. I do not consider that I have succeeded, quite the opposite, I’m always looking for challenges, new projects going up, and then, since I was little, I always tried to find projects that I made.
I never really wanted to, unconsciously, in any case, be in the standard, I’ve always wanted to take a little bit of my instinct and do things that I liked and then here. (…) It is truly the passion that was able to guide me in all the choices I could make, and the companies that I have been able to mount.
What is the spark that pushed you towards music at 14 years of age ?
Ah the spark ! In fact, as I have a brother who is a composer and who is 4 years older than me, I followed him a little bit. This time, it is particular. (…) I lived part of my adolescence in Algeria, and at the time, in Algeria, in any case, there I was, there was not much else to do. So, when one has nothing, a little thing to do, is it depression, is to develop its artistic side and creative. And I’m not depressed, and I threw myself into music with my brother, so we created a band with musicians from our hometown, and then it was mounted like that, we began making small scenes, it has begun to turn, and then arrived in France, we decided to record a 45 rpm that Yassine, therefore, my brother, had composed and my sister had written the words.
Why the choice of a car in your next film ?
The history of Car 7, it is quite particular because in the beginning it is truly a constraint that we did write, explore the eight-ended. Simply there was a shortage of budget. With the scriptwriter Jean-Michel Delaloche it was trying to do three other feature films, for two years, where we hit a small bit of the walls.
We had not necessarily ended the casting. I called it : “Listen here, we will simply focus on a story of low-cost, one place, 7 characters “. Left to do shit ( laughing ), excuse me the expression, as much to explore a genre that broke me so fantastic. Small team, small budget, even, even do it in video, we will do it in a video. And we started writing like that, and gradually, the scenario is more refined. A version, second version, third version, and gradually I realized that the Car 7 has been a truly ambitious project that deserved further processing.
And last year at Cannes, just here, not far from the Majestic, I was able to cross Jimmy Jean-Louis, so the actor in the series Heroes. I knew he speaks French. So I simply discussed, I talked about the project Car 7, it was a bit of a hurry, which is normal : it is Cannes, the excitement, follow-up of photographers, so I told him about it very quickly. He told me ” send a reply either to me after Cannes “. It left me with a mail, and then I sent him the scenario. A few days after he reminded me directly on the laptop, saying to me : “I am the movie, very very good story “, the character therefore of Eric, that he will, pleases him, the psychology of the characters, the whole story. And he said, “I’m off” and the trigger went from there.
We said : “perhaps It was something pretty interesting, it was truly a project that begins to become ambitious “. And I sent at the same time the scenario to Cristiana Reali with whom I had already worked, that I had the opportunity to lead on Art n Act Production, one of my short film and also Elodie Navarre , who had already played in three other of my productions. They have very kindly agreed to join the adventure of Car 7, and I am rather flattered.
The writing has actually been influenced by the lack of money. What was a weakness has become a true force, since it has concentrated all the history on the characters, on this eight-ended, and over the versions that we did, the car truly became a character. And the protagonists actually have a soul, truly a story of things to defend, and it is this that gives all the power of the Car 7.
What is it that motivates your choice to play in your own movie ?
With Jean-Michel, who is also an actor, it is gone from the start : left to make this film on a small team, we do it ourselves, we write each of the roles. I have to be honest, Jean-Michel has written the character following really what we wanted to defend, and the same for him. It is not very well to say that, but I am not really in danger as an actor with the role of Gabriel, that is to say that I know my limits, I know precisely the issues of shooting a feature film.
Sometimes when you are a director and leading actors, there is sometimes frustrated. We saw the characters when you are telling a story, there is sometimes frustrated to see that precisely it is not arrived at the end of what we wanted to really explore with the actor. And we are there on stage was truly telling the story, to truly be the character, live the thing. If I screw up like that on a shoot for my previous films, I think that the role of Gabriel, I can hold it without a problem, even if I also know that it is a desire for me to explore other things and make me happy, because that cinema is before all a “glow’ “, I’m happy, and then voila. When I stop to make me happy I will probably do something else.
Car 7 this is an extraordinary adventure, it is complicated, it is a lot of work, it’s a lot of sacrifices, but I believe this is a good project, a good movie, a good team.
The film seems to turn to a teen audience and adult, do you think that he will be aware of the restrictions -10 years old or 12 years old ?
I hope not, but this is not a film that gore in fact, it is not a slasher movie. Is it that the voltage is not really what we do not know, what we don’t see ? It is it also which is interesting. I think that Car 7 is also exploring this route, that is to say, what you are trying to go precisely to the depths of the personalities of the characters and see what can be evil is not necessarily in the other, but maybe it is.
This is not a movie where there is necessarily a monster behind, or a bloodthirsty killer. I say no more, but it is a movie rather than I like to qualify as a thriller. It’s a good story and this is interesting because behind this aspect of Entertainment, really genre films are pop-corn, since they are aimed a little bit at all, there really is a philosophical background and a question of a problem that everyone has asked at least once in his life. This is to create the debate at the end of the session, is to create a reflection, to engage people, perhaps, think.
– Car 7 do you have inspirations special ?
Inspirations ? Of course we always have, mentors or movies references and everything. Car 7, there is a moment, a passage of the film with a conversation between the protagonists, I’m not going to say it is fun, but it pays homage. It pays homage to the films that we have enjoyed, more or less, in the genre because what is a little complicated in the genre, it is that we always end up using the same recipes and we finally know the big strings and the arrival this is the same thing, with the same history, the same course, the same outcome, and it is a bit of a shame.
There are things on Wagon 7 as it explores, I’m not saying that we reinvent the cinema, far from it, nor that it is so the most extraordinary story, I’m just saying that there are references which state that you even mention it, while trying to be original in the treatment of the film but especially in the course of history, that is to say, even if the starting premise looks like some of the movies already out, but that as and that the film will take place for the spectator to be brought completely in the story, “this is something totally unprecedented” even if they refer to movies.
A project in court after Car 7 ?
Yes I already have a full-length film project which is already written which is still with Jean-Michel Delaloche which is a genre film. I don’t know if this will be the one there, the next, ben if it’s going to be next, it will happen in the United States. Wait and see as they say, we will see how it will happen.
Have you a film director or a film fetish ?
Boy ! Favorite movies I have several, and in addition to that , it depends on my mood actually. There are films that I scotchent, that I love and then I move on to something else. I see another, after I become nostalgic, I say to myself ” I liked that one “. But the general rule is the one that I was well inspired, this is still Spielberg, the discovery of a film, which, unfortunately for me, I have not seen it in the cinema, that I’ve seen on tv because when it was released in the cinema, I was not born, it was a Duel . His first telefilm, it is the one that has me truly amazed, and looking at a Duel I said to myself, how with little things, you can get in a breath during the 90 minutes of a viewer. And yet it is a car that is being chased by a truck, frankly the pitch is not much ( laugh ), but yet to come it was a hell of a beautiful film.
But it is not only a Duel, there are others that I admired, the Empire Of The Sun for Spielberg , it is radically something else, radically different. And then I do not hang necessarily fantastic, in fact, I love a lot of movies, I’m pretty eclectic at this level. Above all it is necessary that there is an emotion. When I see a film should be that it speaks to me.
What the films in the competition you have marked this year ?
I have not had the time to see a lot of movies. I’ve seen only two films : Johnnie To, finally Revenge, and Agora d’Aménabar. Agora, I loved it. I really well, well, well loved. I thought I’d see a good movie, I saw a very good film, pleasantly surprised. I’m waiting to see Inglorious Basterds from Tarantino. An out of competition film that I absolutely do not want to miss, this is Sam Raimi ( editor’s note : to Hell ).
To conclude, what do you think of the atmosphere of the festival ?
This year, we have had the rain at the start, it is fine this time. It is a festival pretty quiet this year, against a very, very, good selection with great filmmakers, and so it is that which is quite particular, they say that this is the crisis that is precisely what it has not as many participants as usual, but for me, still, I feel that it is more quiet this year, as there are fewer risks taken than usual, but people are more accessible, oddly this year. So I don’t know, it is an atmosphere quite mixed, but I still have the end of the week to feed as it is said, but anyway I’m not here to entertain me, I’m there to work.
It should be noted that a portion of this interview was the subject of a “day by day” video at the 62nd Cannes film Festival, you can find Farid DMS Debah at this address.