[INTERVIEW] Gilles Marchand and Jérémie elka ∩ m

With IN THE FOREST, Gilles Marchand offers Jérémie elka ∩ m a role the polar opposite of the friendly image that it generally carries. This last reveals his or her hand, dark as a father unstable and hardly reassuring. But for them, IN THE FOREST is not limited to film, anxiety-provoking and terrifying, and even features a aspect of light. Explanations…

Our review of IN THE FOREST of Gilles Marchand


In the forest is above all a film of atmosphere whose mysteries are not necessarily resolved. Is this lack of response was desired from the beginning ?

Gilles Marchand : When you start to write a project we discover it as. It is at the moment to write it down and make it as I had the impression that this is as it should be. But in a certain way if In the forest is a film that does not offer all the keys, this is for the sake of accuracy, in order not to lock in something arbitrary. My desire was to do justice to the look of a child who receives pure sensations. Who is trying to understand what he has around him, but without the need of explanation. I like to feel that things are true even if they exceed me, if I don’t have all the achievements. This is not to play the evil that I do not give solution, it’s just that for me, all I know is in the movie.


It remains most of the issues around the father.

G. M : I believe that in life we don’t have all the rules, there are things that escape us. It was essential for me to reproduce that, especially with the character of the father. It should not be easy to identify, it had to be that there is a lack of bits so that it intrigues even more. In fact it follows this approach to be closer to the truth. To find a similarity with what we experience, but not one comes out with the feeling of having understood everything.


And after reading the script, how did you feel about Jeremiah ?

Jérémie elka ∩ m : When I read a script, I don’t look at only my character and my scenes, I watch the film, which will be manufactured in its entirety. It requires one to put themselves in the position of the viewer, while thinking to himself of course. Here, what I read has produced in me something strong. The scenario was something so captivating, that I did not ask myself what could be missing. I felt that there were different interpretations, that maybe things were escaping me. I couldn’t give a rational explanation to everything, but it’s still consistent. In fact I believe that In the forest is a bit like a work of art in the abstract. We do not ask what it lacks, because it is a world that is autonomous.

G. M : however, I think the film will still contain a resolution. There is a true end. It does not answer all the questions, but at least a number of emotions and one feels that things have changed. After, a spectator to the other, you can feel the frustration. But I prefer to just have a bit of a frustration than a disappointment. What I feel just in some movies that have an explanation that kills what I’ve seen before, and that prevents me to take the movie with me. I just wanted that In the forest continues to live in the head of the spectators. If this is what it produces I would be delighted, if it causes only frustration I will take it as a failure.


It is amazing to what point In the forest manages to cause a sense of anxiety.

J. E : Even today, when I see the film, I found that the desire for Gilles to be quite intuitive and to be from the point of view of the child, the fact that it does not limit itself to a single emotion. There is angst, but not that. There is also something quite beautiful and bright. Obviously, one retains especially this strong feeling, but for me it is like a journey for the viewer.

G. M : When you say that we can feel a form of anxiety, I think that there are still fun, because it is cinema. It is not felt in the same way in real life. But in the movies, we love to cry, be afraid. This is the place where you can feel these strong emotions without them being painful to the individual. Someone told me some time ago, that the film is strange and captivating. I like the approximation. Because the strangeness is a bit elusive, and the side gripping is very clear. I think that the film has these two natures. It can fascinate, haunt, hypnotize, but also to be more cutting edge. It is the mixture of these feelings which causes still fun.


Jeremiah you are for the first time actor and producer. How to manages this double role, in particular at the time of the shooting ?

J. E : The fact of having produced the film, among other things, with Valérie Donzelli and Mina Driouche has largely made things easier because at the time of play we all agreed that I be released from the cap of a producer. It was a role very taking for me and in which I had to immerse myself. So I was present as a producer before and after the shoot, but during the period of manufacture I put it aside. After that, I quite like it, even as an actor, to be present in the construction of films, see what happens. There is a tendency to protect the actors of the issues, but I really want to know what happens on the shoot, think about the scenery, try to understand the changes that we can do, why we do it, the consequences that this implies…


Jeremiah you release something very nice. Finally, I have to say that you look nice in fact.

J. E : Thank You !

G. M : But in real life it is closer to his character (laughs)

Kick-exactly, how did you deal with a character that is not reassuring, and is still very ambiguous ?

G. M : This is based on trust I think. Already you should know that I know Jeremiah for a long time. I can see that he exudes in his films, and in general, something of a young, urban, friendly, attractive. By our complicity, it was possible for me to imagine that in a side more dark and move it to where it was. And there is nothing to decide that Jeremiah could play this character has an importance.

J. E : Yes, I also think that the large part of the work is to give the role to someone else, with what it is. It drags what one feels, what one is. Of course, we all have a part bright and a darker side. For this film I went more draw to this dark place in me. But despite everything I think that I bring to the character a form of fragility that is not necessarily expected. I continue to have something of me, not of sympathy, but I bring the character to something less definitive.


And during the filming, more precisely in the direction of the actor ?

G. M : In daily work it is just a bunch of small things, as well as a choice of costume that the framing of the voice, to be very concrete in relationship with the children, take them very seriously. It is the intensity he had with the child that I liked when we did the tests. The fact that he is an intelligent man, and who, when he speaks to the little saying things that may seem unreasonable, we don’t say he is stupid, he said no matter what. On the contrary.

J. E : On the shooting Gilles said to me, very simple things, he asked me not to put psychology. It’s stupid, but being in this situation, it was already a lot. It does not like, just the attitude, can be important.


Tell us about your relationship with the young Theo and Timothy.

J. E : In fact, I tend to take the children as individuals in their own right. Suddenly there was that we were interested in and others not. I’m always surprised at the people who say ” I love children “. I don’t really believe in it. For my part, I’ve been dating beautiful, and sometimes I have been with children less interesting. Timothy Vom Dorp and Théo Van de Voorde have been a real discovery for me. Timothy is a child who is extremely talented, attentive to the meaning but also intuitive. He had something true, in his looks, his answers, as really the character, without making the child who is playing.


And as a father yourself, how to approach your role ?

J. E : I was able to connect with my character because he is a father who seeks in spite of everything to share things. He wants to educate his children. I like for example a lot that scene where he asks what they dream of having. It says something of the father more particular than just ” he is crazy “. In my experience as a father I try to protect my children, to flourish, to give them weapons so that they could be as happy as possible. But we know that, like all children, they will have disappointments, painful memories. Although we did everything we could to give them the best.

G. M : Yes, criticism is always possible. This makes me think, one of the first audiences who saw the film told me that it was halfway between her fears of a child and his fears of a father. Fatherhood is also a special experience. It is a responsibility. In the film, he has not seen for a long time and tries to make up for lost time. He must feel that he is doing wrong things. Therefore, there is an anxiety to be a father. But to be a child is the same, we have to ask questions about the adult who can do things that you sometimes find ” abnormal “.


The father’s name is not cited, it seems to me. In the film as well as in press kits, Jérémie elka ∩ m is only associated to the role of ” father “.

G. M : Yes, it is interesting like note. I believe that at one time one hears when even a colleague of the father called Francis. But children, naturally, do not call them by their first name, and they never meet a person who know it. It seemed to me so obvious as not to hear his first name. But at the same time it creates something special. It makes him an individual that is not totally cernable. This keeps the ambiguity of the entity that would be called ” the father “.

Remarks collected by Pierre Siclier

Category: Uncategorized

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